Faculty Advisor(s)

Katherine Krynak, Ph. D
Ohio Northern University
Biological and Allied Health Sciences
k-krynak@onu.edu

Jane A. Lyons
Reserva Las Gralarias, Ecuador
jalyons593@gmail.com

Tim J. Krynak
Cleveland Metroparks
tjk@clevelandmetroparks.com

Kristy L. Becka
Cleveland Metroparks
klb@clevelandmetroparks.com

Document Type

Poster

Start Date

24-4-2020 9:00 AM

Description

Astroblepus are catfish native to South America. Little is known regarding their natural history although some species such as Astroblepus ubidiai are listed as critically endangered. To improve our knowledge of Astroblepus habitat preferences, stream characteristics were assessed using the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI). QHEI scores were hypothesized to be predictive of Astroblepus abundance. Five streams were sampled at Reserva Las Gralarias (RLG), Ecuador, a site known to have at least one species of Astroblepus. In addition to QHEI assessment, kicknet samples (1x1m2 plots, three replicates per site) were collected at each site to locate Astroblepus and to examine macroinvertebrate communities. Astroblepus were observed in two out of the five streams; both of these sites were assessed as having a QHEI score of ≥70. Macroinvertebrates at these sites included families typically found in high quality habitats. While conclusions are limited without increased sampling effort, Astroblepus sp. seem to inhabit high quality streams. Additional sampling is also necessary to identify the species of Astroblepus at RLG. Given the degree of population isolation of this mountainous region and morphological characteristics of the fish observed, it is likely that these species are undescribed, therefore future collections will be required for taxonomic assessment of these catfish.

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Apr 24th, 9:00 AM

Habitat Assessment of the Andean Catfish (Astroblepus sp.) at Reserva Las Gralarias: Province of Pichincha, Ecuador

Astroblepus are catfish native to South America. Little is known regarding their natural history although some species such as Astroblepus ubidiai are listed as critically endangered. To improve our knowledge of Astroblepus habitat preferences, stream characteristics were assessed using the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI). QHEI scores were hypothesized to be predictive of Astroblepus abundance. Five streams were sampled at Reserva Las Gralarias (RLG), Ecuador, a site known to have at least one species of Astroblepus. In addition to QHEI assessment, kicknet samples (1x1m2 plots, three replicates per site) were collected at each site to locate Astroblepus and to examine macroinvertebrate communities. Astroblepus were observed in two out of the five streams; both of these sites were assessed as having a QHEI score of ≥70. Macroinvertebrates at these sites included families typically found in high quality habitats. While conclusions are limited without increased sampling effort, Astroblepus sp. seem to inhabit high quality streams. Additional sampling is also necessary to identify the species of Astroblepus at RLG. Given the degree of population isolation of this mountainous region and morphological characteristics of the fish observed, it is likely that these species are undescribed, therefore future collections will be required for taxonomic assessment of these catfish.