California Aquatic Insects

Species checklists (Dr. William Shepard)

California has one of the most diverse aquatic insect faunas in all of North America. This is likely due to the intense dissection of the various mountain ranges in the state and the great north-to-south length of the state (Shepard 1993). Even with the known richness, many new species of aquatic insects are still being described from California.

The first attempt to record the aquatic insects of California was by R. L. Usinger (1956). That book has served countless researchers and students for many years, but it gradually has become more and more out of date. More recently a listing of aquatic insects, List of Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Taxa from California and Adjacent States Including Standard Taxonomic Effort Levels, was made available by the Southwest Association of Freshwater Invertebrate Taxonomists (SAFIT) on the website of the California Department of Fish and Game Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory. My list was begun around the same time without knowledge of the former, evidencing the interest in keeping track of what is known of California’s aquatic insects.

The source(s) for each list in this work began with Usinger and included more recent works that are cited under each individual list.

Taxa groups

Each taxa group has as downloadable species checklist available in PDF format.

Literature Cited

Shepard, W. D. 1993. Annotated checklist of the aquatic and semiaquatic dryopoid Coleoptera of California. Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 69(1): 1-11.
Usinger, R. L. (ed.). 1956. Aquatic Insects of California, with Keys to North American Genera and California Species. University of California Press. Berkeley, CA. 508 pp.