The availability of aquatic oxygen can limit habitat suitability for benthic insects, and differences in hypoxia tolerance can therefore play a role in explaining distributions in the field. This study describes a behavioural test in which the trade off between different survival strategies after exposure to different oxygen concentrations is analyzed, using the caddisfly Hydropsyche angustipennis as a model organism. The impedance conversion technique was used to quantify patterns of behaviour for individual caddisflies at three levels of dissolved oxygen (100%, 50%, and 30% saturation) under controlled laboratory conditions. Exposure to hypoxia resulted in behavioural changes: under low-oxygen conditions, larvae increased their ventilation rate, which may increase oxygen uptake. However, they also increased the time spent on other activities, which may reflect avoidance behaviour.

avoidance behaviour, impedance conversion technique, low oxygen, aquatic insect behaviour
Contributions to Zoology

Released under the CC-BY 4.0 ("Attribution") License

Naturalis journals & series

van der Geest, H.G. (2007). Behavioural responses of caddisfly larvae (Hydropsyche angustipennis) to hypoxia. Contributions to Zoology, 76(4), 255–260.