Alina Avanesyan
Among the redwoods -- Muir Woods

Aquatic Entomology

As a teaching assistant at the University of Maryland, also during Spring 2018, I taught Aquatic Entomology course (ENTM667). This course included lectures, wet labs, seminars, and field trips. My students and I participated in aquatic insect collection, sorting and insect identification, discussions on insect adaptations, as well as article critiques. I helped students identify insect morphological structures (mouthparts, abdominal and tarsal elements, etc.). The students also developed and presented short lectures on major insect groups. At the end of semester, we also went on a 2 day field trip (in Garrett County, MD) to collect aquatic invertebrates and update our class insect collection.


Topics covered

  • WEEK 1. Orders of Aquatic Insects; Classification, Insect videos
  • WEEK 2. Evolution of Aquatic Insects; Collection and in-lab Dissection of Pteronarcys and Acroneuria, Demonstration of Adaptations
  • WEEK 3. Ephemeroptera; Physiological Constraints and Adaptations
  • WEEK 4. Odonata; Functional Feeding Groups and Trophic Relationships; Demonstration of Mouthparts
  • WEEK 5. Plecoptera; Identifications
  • WEEK 6. Collection trip: Fishing Creek and Little Fishing Creek (6 hours); Identifications; Article 1
  • WEEK 7. Minor orders: Collembola, Orthoptera, Megaloptera, Neuroptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera; Identifications
  • WEEK 8. SPRING BREAK!
  • WEEK 9. Collection trip: Jackson Lane, Eastern Shore (6 hours); Identifications; Article 2
  • WEEK 10. Trichoptera; Identifications; Article 3
  • WEEK 11. Coleoptera; Identifications; Article 4
  • WEEK 12. Diptera: Nematocera; Identifications
  • WEEK 13. Diptera: Brachycera; Collection trip: Beltsville Pond
  • WEEK 14. Hemiptera; Collection trip: Middle Patuxent River; Identifications
  • WEEK 15. Identifications; Weekend Field Trip to Garrett County
  • WEEK 16. Identifications; Preparing collections

Collection trip to Garrett County, MD:

Local aquatic insect collections:

Articles discussed

  • Article 1: Nakano, S., H. Miyasaka, and N. Kuhara. 1999. Terrestrial-aquatic linkages: Riparian arthropod inputs alter trophic cascades in a stream food web. Ecology 80: 2435-2441.
  • Article 2: Lytle, D.A., M.T. Bogan, and D.S. Finn. 2007. Evolution of aquatic insect behaviours across a gradient of disturbance predictability. Proc. Royal Soc. B 275: 453-462.
  • Article 3: Rosi-Marshall, E.J., J.L. Tank, T.V. Royer, M.R. Whiles, M. Evans-White, C. Chambers, N.A. Griffiths, J. Pokelsek, and M.L. Stephen. 2007. Toxins in transgenic byproducts may affect headwater stream ecosystems. PNAS 104: 16204-16208.
  • Article 4: Lund, J.O., S.A. Wissinger, and B.L Peckarsky. 2016. Caddisfly behavioral responses to drying cues in temporary ponds: implications for effects of climate change. Journal of Freshwater Science 35: 619-630.