Thursday, September 29, 2011

Possible new endangered listing for southeastern aquatic insects.

The Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service last year to give 404 southeastern aquatic species federal endangered listing, and it looks like FWS will finally be addressing 374 of these:

Species announced today include 13 amphibians, six amphipods, 17 beetles, three birds, four butterflies, six caddisflies, 81 crayfish, 14 dragonflies, 43 fish, one springfly, two isopods, four mammals, one moth, 35 mussels, six non-vascular plants, 12 reptiles, 43 snails, eight stoneflies and 75 vascular plants, FWS said.

Of the 9 species of caddisflies from the original 404 petition on the Center for Biological Diversity website, the below six are being considered (full list is here).

  • Hydroptila sykorai
  • Agarodes logani
  • Lepidostoma morsei
  • Triaenodes tridontus
  • Oecetis parva
  • Oxyethira setosa
I collected one of those during my masters research in good numbers, outside it's supposed range (not saying which right now). The article detailing the range extension is in review at the moment, and I do hope it will be published before a decision is reached because it may challenge the need for an endangered status for that species.

The list includes 44 other insects in addition to the caddisflies (though the silk moth and the butterflies are not /really/ aquatic, they have larvae feeding on plants which are often semi-aquatic). I do appreciate insect conservation minded people in an environmental movement which often focuses exclusively on megafauna.