Back to the Water

aquatic Insect Species by orderInsects evolved as terrestrial organisms that have successfully colonized all non-ocean habitats from arid desert to aquatic. Aquatic habitats have been colonized by many different groups of terrestrial insects including different groups in the same insect order. The flies (Diptera) have the most aquatic species (over half). Over 20 separate invasions of fresh water followed by diversification of species is evident from the taxonomy. The Diptera have been more successful in the colonization of freshwater than the beetles with many more species. Almost half of the Diptera (one quarter of the total species) are mosquitoes, midges and black flies. These groups contain some of the most noxious humans pests even though most species are benign.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment, Taxonomy. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Back to the Water

  1. Don Weber says:

    Love your posts! This graph though, would tell a lot more if you indicate what proportion of the species in the orders you list here, are aquatic. Caddisflies (one word) are 100% aquatic, whereas True Flies and Beetles are much less % of species aquatic. Maybe this is going to be your next post!

  2. Pingback: Back to the Water

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