Diel emergence, swarming, and longevity of selected adult aquatic insects of a Sonoran Desert stream

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Jackson, J. K. 1988. American Midland Naturalist 119(2):344–352.

doi: 10.2307/2425817


Diel emergence patterns, swarming and mating behavior, and longevity of seven taxa of adult aquatic insects (Diptera, Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera) from Sycamore Creek, Arizona, were examined. Emergence was synchronized and generally occurred during the 1st 2 hr after dusk; however, the mayfly Tricorythodes dimorphus emerged 3–6 hr later. In the laboratory, adults lived for 24 hr (all other taxa) at 25° C. High air temperature (38° C) reduced adult longevity by 47–78%. Mating swarms were observed only at dusk, dawn and early morning. Adult aquatic insects in Sycamore Creek possess life history traits (rapid development, synchronized nocturnal emergence, reduced daytime flight and bimodal adult longevity) that are advantageous in desert streams which periodically dry and flood and are surrounded by a hot, desiccating, riparian habitat containing numerous insectivores.