Traditional methods of collecting aquatic macroinvertebrates can be time
consuming and expensive. One efficient form of sampling involves collection of surface
floating pupal exuviae (SFPE) of a group of aquatic flies of the family Chironomidae.
Previous studies have shown the efficacy of the SFPE collection technique to determine
chironomid taxonomic composition and temporal organization in small streams of
northwestern Costa Rica. However, the methodology has never been employed in a
Neotropical brackish water setting and its efficacy was unknown in this context. The
primary goal of this study was to test the SFPE method in a Neotropical brackish water
setting and to expand the knowledge base of chironomid taxonomy and ecology in Costa
Rica. The objectives of this research were to determine the economy of the SFPE method for studies in Neotropical brackish waters and the variability of Chironomidae emergence
and taxonomic composition. Collections of chironomid SFPE were made in the brackish
water estuary, Laguna del Tortuguero, and freshwater stream, Quebrada, in Tortuguero
National Park, Costa Rica on seven consecutive days during both the dry and wet
seasons. The SFPE method appears to be a reasonably economical method for sampling
Chironomidae in Neotropical brackish waters and it is successful in detecting spatial
differences in emergence between sites in the dry and wet season. The results indicate
that Chironomidae SFPE sampling could be employed as part of a rapid biomonitoring
program for monitoring water and sediment quality in Tortuguero National Park, Costa
Rica. Generally, these data will expand the knowledge base of Neotropical Chironomidae taxonomy and ecology, which will facilitate entomological and aquatic
ecology research and teaching in Latin America.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. January 2012. Major: Entomology. Advisor: Dr. Leonard C. Ferrington, Jr., 1 computer file (PDF); xxix, 229 pages, appendix p. 220-229.
Comparison of emergence and taxonomic composition of chironomidae (Insecta: diptera) in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica..
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