• Species Identification of Rhyacophila in Oneonta Creek

      Heilveil, Jeffrey; Kletzel, Mackenzie (2022)
      Caddisflies are aquatic insects that play an important role in food webs, for example, they are eaten by many game fish (e.g. trout, bass). They are also a critical part of nutrient cycling since they have aquatic larval stages and terrestrial adult phases. In order to quantify the importance of any one caddisfly species you have to be able to identify it. For example, in the genus Rhyacophila, some immatures aren’t associated with adults. I focused on determining which species had larvae present in Oneonta Creek. Using DNA extraction and sequencing the DNA barcoding gene cytochrome oxidase I, I found two species of Rhyacophila: R. vibox and R. minora. Rhyacophila vibox larvae have not been previously described, so I am now collaborating with Dr. Morse at Clemson University to morphologically differentiate them from other Rhyacophila larvae.