Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera fauna of Churchill (Manitoba, Canada): Insights into biodiversity patterns from DNA barcoding

Xin Zhou, Luke M. Jacobus, R. Edward Dewalt, Sarah J. Adamowicz, Paul D.N. Hebert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The insect orders Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) are particularly important for freshwater ecological and biomonitoring studies, but difficulties in their identification to species level impede research. DNA barcoding provides a solution to this problem by linking newly collected specimens to a reference library of authoritatively identified specimens. Here, we consider the ways in which patterns of intraspecific and interspecific genetic divergences in the barcode region can provide rapid insights into the taxonomic identity, morphological features, and geographical distributions of species. Our study led to a >5× increase in the EPT fauna, including 68 caddisfly, 37 mayfly, and 7 stonefly species, recorded from Churchill. DNA barcoding also aided detection of rare taxa, allowed identification of otherwise unidentifiable life stages, revealed several potentially new species of caddisflies and mayflies, and suggested the presence of cryptic species. The new insights into this fauna and the strong congruence between morphological and molecular characters affirm the utility of DNA barcoding for rapid characterization of the diversity of EPT faunas. We also explore the phenology and habitat preferences of Churchill's trichopterans and demonstrate that comprehensive sampling is important for documenting biodiversity through DNA barcoding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-837
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the North American Benthological Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • COI
  • aquatic insects
  • biodiversity inventory
  • habitat preference
  • phenology
  • species boundaries
  • species checklist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera fauna of Churchill (Manitoba, Canada): Insights into biodiversity patterns from DNA barcoding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this