• Frequency of missing legs in the cave cricket, Hadenoecus subterraneus

      Chandoo, Mohammed; Lavoie, Elizabeth; Pandey, Utsav; Thirunavukarasu, Suganthi; Lavoie, Kathleen; Wolosz, Thomas (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2013)
      The cave cricket (Hadenoecus subterraneus) is a keystone species in maintaining biological diversity in cave communities in Mammoth Cave National Park. Crickets must leave the cave to forage on nights when conditions are favorable, which puts them at considerable risk of predation. Invertebrates have developed defenses for predation, including autotomy (voluntary loss of a limb). We hypothesize that missing legs are a sign of predation pressure on the crickets, and may be vary in different environments. We used a visual census to record the sex-specific frequency of missing legs among adult cave crickets at eight different cave entrances. We expected males to be missing legs more than females because they must leave the cave refuge to forage more frequently than females; however, we found that males and females were missing legs in equal numbers. The hind leg was missing with greater frequency than other limbs, likely the result of cricket predator avoidance behavior (jumping), which puts the larger hind limb closest to the predator. The frequency of crickets with missing limbs varied among cave entrances from a low of 6.6% to a high of nearly 40%, with abundance varying yearly. In Frozen Niagara, which consistently had a high proportion of crickets missing legs, the percentage missing legs was highest in crickets roosting closer to the entrance (30.8%) than deeper (18.7%) into the cave. The goal of this survey was to study the pattern and implications of limb loss on foraging and predator avoidance.
    • Nearshore Fish Community Analysis On Northwestern Lake Champlain

      Alejandro Reyes, Caleb Smith, George Maynard, Eric Snavely, and Danielle Garneau (Faculty), Center for Earth and Environmental Science, SUNY Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh, NY 12901; Reyes, Alejandro; Smith, Caleb; Maynard, George; Snavely, Eric; Garneau, Danielle (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2013)
      Community surveys are necessary sources of information needed to properly manage fisheries. These surveys detail important historical data concerning past fish assemblages and the previous status of recreational game fish. Historically, Lake Champlain has received little attention with regard to fish community assemblage research. We undertook a beach, seine net survey at four locations along the northwestern shores of Lake Champlain. We surveyed several unique nearshore habitat types and recorded abiotic factors, fishes, and plant communities. Our results revealed 17 different taxa with four being non-native to the basin. Lakeview Park had the highest species richness and abundance, which we believe results from the presence of vegetation at the sampling site. The scope of our survey was limited (i.e., small species or young of the year game fish), thus we recommend future comprehensive surveys that include a variety of fish sampling methods.