The life cycle of the Maghrebian endemic Ecdyonurus rothschildi Navás, 1929 (Ephemeroptera: Heptageniidae) and its potential importance for environmental monitoring

Abstract

North African streams and rivers face multiple anthropogenic stressors, and their aquatic fauna is rapidly dwindling before comprehensive knowledge of their distribution and ecology has been attained. We investigated the distribution and life cycle of the Maghrebian endemic Ecdyonurus rothschildi Navás, 1929 in northeastern Algeria. The species was recorded both from permanent and intermittent freshwater habitats with stony substrate. It exhibited pronounced sexual dimorphism, with F-0 females being significantly larger than F-0 males. Three generations were completed during an annual multivoltine cycle. The first generation extended from October to February/March, the second spanned the months of March to June, and the third stretched from June to the end of September/October. We argue that monitoring of E. rothschildi could prove useful for assessing the rapid changes affecting North African hydrosystems, which are in need of adequate management.

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Acknowledgements

We are most grateful to two anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions. We also extend our thanks to King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for supporting this work through the Researchers Supporting Project Number (RSP-2019/19).

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Bouhala, Z., Márquez-Rodríguez, J., Chakri, K. et al. The life cycle of the Maghrebian endemic Ecdyonurus rothschildi Navás, 1929 (Ephemeroptera: Heptageniidae) and its potential importance for environmental monitoring. Limnology 22, 17–26 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10201-020-00625-z

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Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Life history
  • Macroinvertebrate
  • Mayfly
  • North Africa
  • River