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Ephemeroptera: Ameletidae of Gunnison County, Colorado

Introduction to Ameletus
Brown Duns, Dark Brown Spinner, Ameletid Minnow Mayflies

Eaton, 1885
Updated 20 Aug 2020
TSN 100996

Provisional Ameletus Species List

Ameletus similior
Ameletus sparsatus
Ameletus validus
Ameletus velox
Probably more present

Good Links

North American Ameletus list - from Mayfly Central http://www.entm.purdue.edu/mayfly/na-species-list.php#familyAmeletidae

PAN Pesticides database: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/List_AquireAll.jsp?Species=6024∓Effect=


Allan,JD 1978 Diet of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis Mitchell) and Brown Trout (Salmo trutta L.) in an alpine stream. Internationale Vereinigung für Theoretische und Angewandte Limnologie Verhandlungen 20, 2045-2050.

Allen,RK and Chao,ESM 1981 Mayflies of the Southwest: new records and notes of Siphlonuridae (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist (57) 449-456. PDF

Argyle,DW; Edmunds,GF 1962 Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) of the Curecanti Reservoir Basins Gunnison River, Colorado. University of Utah Anthropological Papers 59(8) 178-189.
     Quote from page 181 regarding Ameletus spp.: There are at least 4 and probably 5 species represented by these collections. Until they are successfully reared, they cannot be identified. They were collected from riffle areas or quiet water by a riffle. They were often found closer to the bank than the center of the stream. They were found at only one station in the Gunnison River. Subsequent collections in the spring of 1962 indicate that they are well distributed in the main river."

Buchwalter,DB and Luoma,SN 2005 Differences in dissolved cadmium and zinc uptake among stream insects: mechanistic explanations. Environmental Science and Technology (39) 498-504.

Clemens,WA 1922 A parthenogenetic mayfly (Ameletus ludens Needham). Canadian Entomologist (54)77-78.

Dodds,GS 1923 Mayflies from Colorado: descriptions of certain species and notes on others. Transactions of American Entomological Society 69, 93-116. PDF

Dodds,GS and Hisaw,FL 1925. Ecological studies on aquatic insects. IV. Altitudinal range and zonation of mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies in the Colorado Rockies. Ecology 6(4)380-390. Abstract PDF

Eaton AE. 1883-1888. A revisional monograph of recent Ephemeridae or mayflies. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Second Series, Zoology 3:1-352, 65 pl.
     The Reverend described the genus Ameletus for the first time along with many other mayfly genera and species. The genus name means neglected or overlooked.

[I looked for the illustrations, but they appear to be mislabeled or non-existent, I'll try again when I have time.]

Gill,BA; Harrington,RA; Kondratieff,BC; Zamudio,KR; Poff, LN andFunk,CW 2014 Morphological taxonomy, DNA barcoding, and species diversity in southern Rocky Mountain headwater streams. Freshwater Science, 33(1), 288-301. PDF
      The authors found three potential cryptic species of Ameletus in streams located on the Front Range of Colorado, but had insufficent genetic data to make any strong conclusions.

Gilpin,BR and Brusven,MA 1970 Food habits and ecology of mayflies of the St. Maries River in Idaho. Melanderia 4:19-40. PDF

Jacobus,LM 2019 Ephemeroptera of Canada. ZooKeys, (819)211-225. HTML
     Quoted: "The number of new species described and named from Canada has been relatively few since 1979, but the most notable gain has been in the genus Ameletus Eaton (Ameletidae) (Zloty 1996, Zloty and Harper 1999). In contrast to new species descriptions, a remarkable number of species synonyms have been proposed for the Canadian fauna, and these are reflected in the complete species synonymies given byMcCafferty and Jacobus (2018). However, it should be noted that new evidence, especially from DNA barcoding, challenges many of these concepts of highly variable species, and some of the current concepts of single species may be split into multiple species after more research is completed (Webb et al. 2012). Recently collected mayfly specimens from Canada have played an important role in the generation of regional DNA barcode libraries (Ball et al. 2005, Zhou et al. 2009, 2010, Webb et al. 2012) and discovering trans-Atlantic species distributions (e.g., Kjӕrstad et al. 2012, Savolainen et al. 2014, Cordero et al. 2016)."

Liegeois,M; Sartori,M and Schwander,T 2019 Extremely widespread parthenogenesis and a trade-off between alternative forms of reproduction in mayflies (Ephemeroptera). BioRxiv, 841122. PDF
     Abstract: "Studying alternative forms of reproduction in natural populations is of fundamental importance for understanding the costs and benefits of sex. Mayflies are one of the few animal groups where sexual reproduction co-occurs with different types of parthenogenesis, providing ideal conditions for identifying benefits of sex in natural populations. Here, we establish a catalogue of all known mayfly species capable of reproducing by parthenogenesis, as well as mayfly species unable to do so. Overall, 1.8% of the described species reproduce parthenogenetically, which is an order of magnitude higher than reported in other animal groups. This frequency even reaches 47.8% if estimates are based on the number of studied rather than described mayfly species. In terms of egg-hatching success, sex is a more successful strategy than parthenogenesis, and we found a trade-off between the efficiency of sexual and parthenogenetic reproduction across species. This means that improving the capacity for parthenogenesis may come at the cost of being less able to reproduce sexually, even in facultative parthenogens. Such a trade-off can help explain why facultative parthenogenesis is extremely rare among animals despite its potential to combine the benefits of sexual and parthenogenetic reproduction. We argue that parthenogenesis is frequently selected in mayflies in spite of this probable trade-off because their typically low dispersal ability and short and fragile adult life may frequently generate situations of mate limitation in females. Mayflies are currently clearly underappreciated for understanding the benefits of sex under natural conditions."

McCafferty,WP and Jacobus,LM 2020 Mayfly central. https://www.entm.purdue.edu/mayfly/

NAWQA National Water-Quality Assessment database said this genus was found in their samples from Gunnison County. Searched 1Sept2005.

Pennack,RW and Ward,JV 1986 Interstital faunal communities of the hyporheic and adjacent groundwater biotopes of a Colorado mountain stream. Archiv für Hydrobiologie Suppl. 74 3, 356-396.
     They found Ameletus sp. nymphs in the hyporheic zone of the South Platte river in the Front Range of Colorado at 1863 meters elevation.

Poff,NL; Olden,JD; Viera,NKM; Finn,DS; Simmons,MP; Kondratieff,BC 2006 Functional trait niches of American lotic insects: traits-based ecological applications in light of phylogenetic relationships. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 25 4, 730-755.
     Here are the traits for this genus from the Appendix:
Life History Voltinism Univoltine - 1 generation/year
Development Fast Seasonal
Synchronization of emergence Well synchronized (day)
Adult life span Less than 1 month
Adult ability to exit Absent
Ability to survive dessication Absent
Mobility Female dispersal Less than 1km flight before laying eggs
Adult flying strength Weak - cannot fly into light breeze
Occurance in drift Rare (catastrophic only)
Maximum crawling rate High - faster than 100 cm/hour
Swimming ability Strong
Morphology Attachment None (free ranging)
Armoring None: soft - bodied
Shape Streamlined: fusiform
Respiration Gills
Size at maturity Small (less than 9mm)
Ecology Rheophily Depositonal and erosional
Thermal preference Cold stenothermal or Cool eurythermal
Habit Swim
Trophic habit Collector-gatherer

Short,RA; Canton,SP and Ward,JV 1980 Detrital processing and associated macroinvertebrates in a Colorado mountain stream. Ecology, 61(4), 727-732. PDF
     Ameletus nymphs were found in alder leaf packs, however were not present in willow, aspen or pine leaf packs.

Stanford,JA and Gaufin,AR 1974 Hyporheic communities of two Montana rivers. Science 185:700-702. PDF
     The authors report Ameletus nymphs from the hyporheic zone of the Flathead River in Montana, USA.

Webb,JM; Jacobus,LM; Funk,DH; Zhou,X; Kondratieff,BC; Geraci,CJ; DeWalt,RE Baird,DJ Richard,B Philips,I and Hebert,PDN 2012 A DNA barcode library for North American Ephemeroptera: Progress and prospects. PloS One 7(5): e38063 HTML

Williams,MC and Lichtwardt,RW 1999 Two new Harpellales living in Ephemeroptera nymphs in Colorado Rocky Mountain streams. Mycologia, 91(2) 400-404. PDF
     Abstract: "Two new species of harpellid gut fungi (Zygomycota: Trichomycetes) are described from the hindguts of mayfly nymphs inhabiting high altitude Rocky Mountain streams: the new genus and species Legeriosimilis tricaudata living in Ameletus sp. (Siphlonuridae), and the new species Glotzia coloradense from Baetis tricaudatus (Baetidae). Legeriomyces aenigmaticus is reported from a new site and a new ephemeropteran host, Ephemerella sp. (Ephemerellidae), and previously unknown zygospores are described."

Zloty,J 1996 A revision of nearctic Ameletus mayflies based on adult males, with descriptions of seven new species (Ephemeroptera: Ameletidae). Canadian Entomologist 128, 293-346. PDF

Zloty,JS 1998 Systematics of nearctic Ameletus mayflies (Ephemeroptera: Ameletidae). PhD Thesis University of Calgary.
     Abstract: "A systematic revision of North American species of the genus Ameletus, excluding parthenogenetic species, is presented. Seven new species are described (A. andersoni, A. bellulus, A. doddsianus, A. edmundsi, A. majusculus, A. pritchardi, and A. tolae), separate keys are given to western and eastern species, annotated accounts of all 30 presently recognized bisexual species are provided, taxonomic characters are illustrated, and distribution data are presented for all species. The following nomenclatural changes are proposed: Ameletus aequivocus is considered a junior synonym of A. sparsatus; A. alticolus and A. celeroides junior synonyms of A. celer; A. connectina and A. connectus junior synonyms of A. velox; A. facilis a junior synonym of A. vancouverensis; A. monta a junior synonym of A. similior; A. querulus a junior synonym of A. shepherdi; A. tuberculatus is provisionally considered to be a junior synonym of A. celer..."

Brown,WS 2004 Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) of Gunnison County, Colorado, USA

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