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Insects and Invertebrates

Invertebrates

Invertebrates have long been used to characterize the quality of streams and rivers. Currently, EPA has funded an effort in Oregon to use invertebrates to help characterize the quality of wetlands. The Xerces Society, an international non-profit for conserving invertebrates located in Portland, is managing this study. In addition to their web site describing the project, they have created a list of invertebrates from Willamette Valley wetlands, a CD-ROM describing how to identify wetland invertebrates, and a report from the first year of the study. The study was completed in 2010.

Fender's Blue Butterfly on Kincaid's Lupine

Fender's Blue Butterfly
on Kincaid's Lupine
(courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

At-risk Invertebrates

Oregon is home to a large number of aquatic and wetland invertebrates, many of which have been in decline as the quality and distribution of their habitats have declined. Wetland and aquatic species make up almost half the total number of at-risk invertebrates, in spite their habitats occupying only about 10% of the state. Caddisfies, snails and slugs are some of the groups that have large numbers of species at risk.

The Xerces Society is working with EPA, DSL, OWEB, and a number of partners to improve the information on at-risk invertebrates in the state. Their work includes the development of species accounts for some at risk Oregon invertebrates associated with wetlands, riparian areas and other still water habitats. Available accounts, ordered by group, are listed below.

 

Beetles

Scientific Name Common Name Habitat
Eanus hatchi Hatch's click beetle Sphagnum bog dependent
Agonum belleri Bellercs ground beetle Sphagnum bog dependent
Cicindela columbica Columbia River tiger beetle Associated with sandbars along river edges
Cicindela hirticollis siuslawensis Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle Estuary associated

Butterflies

Scientific Name Common Name Habitat
Polites mardon Mardon skipper Often associated with wet meadows
Icaricia icarioides fenderi Fenders blue Frequently associated with wet meadows

Crustaceans

Scientific Name Common Name Habitat
Stygobromus oregonensis Oregon cave amphipod Known from pools in the bottom of caves

Freshwater mussels

Scientific Name Common Name Habitat
Anodonta californiensis California floater Known from still and slow water habitats
Anodonta nuttalliana Winged floater Known from still and slow water habitats
Anodonta oregonensis Oregon floater Known from still and slow water habitats
Anodonta kennerlyi Western floater Known from still and slow water habitats

True Bugs

Scientific Name Common Name Habitat
Micracanthia fennica Harney hot spring shore bug Riparian habitat sometimes near thermal water
Saldula villosa Hairy shore bug Salt marsh habitat

Authored by Jimmy Kagan, Information Program Manager, Institute for Natural Resources (2009)