OAS logo
Library Digitization Homepage
OAS Homepage
Volume 70—1990

{Page 35}

A Survey of Aquatic Invertebrates from Wichita Mountain Streams

David Bass
Department of Biology, Central State University, Edmond, OK 73034-0177

References Top of Page Table of Contents Home

The Wichita Mountains are in the plains of southwestern Oklahoma. This region is somewhat isolated, but both eastern and western terrestrial species of plants and animals occur there (1–3). This study is on aquatic invertebrates associated with streams in this area. Other investigations on such invertebrates of Oklahoma concentrated on the eastern and central waters (4–7). No published studies exist from the Wichita Mountains.

Aquatic invertebrates were collected from several stream habitats in the Wichita Mountains, including Headquarters Creek, Post Oak Creek, and West Cache Creek. Collections occurred monthly from September 1988 to August 1989. Rocks and other debris were examined by hand. A dip net was used to sweep through vegetation and soft substrates. These techniques were used to examine as many microhabitats as possible to find the species present and describe their relative abundance.

A total of 89 taxa were collected during the study (Table 1, page 36). Aquatic insects dominated the invertebrate fauna, composing 83% of the taxa collected. The most frequently encountered taxa included the pulmonate snail Physella, the mayflies Callibaetis and Stenonema, and the water strider Gerris.

A diverse fauna of aquatic invertebrates exists in the streams of the Wichita Mountains because of good water quality and the large number of microhabitats available. As greater human pressures are placed on this unique area, these watersheds must be protected to maintain the diversity of aquatic microhabitats.


This research was supported in part by Central State University Faculty Research Funds. Permission to conduct this study at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge was granted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Permit #05080).


References Top of Page Table of Contents Home

1.   W. F. Blair and T. H. Hubbell, Am. Midl. Nat. 20: 425-454 (1938).

2.   W. E. Bruner, Ecol. Monogr. 1: 99-188 (1931).

3.   G. M. Sutton, Oklahoma Birds. Univ. Okla. Press, Norman, OK, 1967.

4.   R. C. Harrel, Southwest Nat. 14: 231-248 (1969).

5.   L. E. Hornuff, Okla. Fish. Lab. Rep. No. 62, 1957, 24 pp.

6.   D. J. Orth, R. N. Jones and O. E. Maughan, Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 62: 18-21 (1982).

7.   W. K. Reisen, Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 55: 25-31 (1975).

{Page 36}

{Page 36 consists of Table 1]