Aquatic Insects And Their Ecological Benefits

Project and Seminar Material for Zoology

Aquatic Insects And Their Ecological Benefits


This seminar work on the ecological benefits of aquatic insects was done taking into consideration basic questions and concepts that can be derived from the given topic of study.
Some of these questions included

  • What is an insect?
  • What is an aquatic insect?
  • Types of aquatic insects
  • What is ecology?
  • Types of ecology
  • Aquatic ecology
  • Aquatic insects and their ecological benefits, were used to indicated the depth this work is going to cover.

Information on the aquatic insects and their benefits and risks to the society are scanty among the general public, students and the scientific community, when compared with the same on the land insects. A brief description is furnished about the body structures and features of the eleven orders of aquatic insects that exist.

These orders are Collembola (springtails), Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies), Hemiptera (true bugs), Megaloptera (dobsonflies and alderflies), Neuroptera (songillaflies), Trichoptera (caddisflies), Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), Coleoptera (beetles) and Diptera (true flies).

Detailed information is presented on the beneficial role of aquatic insects in food webs, bio-monitoring, fishing and control of noxious weeds.

The harmful impacts caused by these animals to the society and the ecosystem by way of general nuisance, transmission of diseases and destruction of crops, were all described in the study.


Inasmuch as a detailed study into any aspect of life has not been taken that area remains speculative and unrevealed.

This study into Aquatic insects and their ecological benefits has to a great extent contributed greatly to my knowledge base and will do so to any other who devotes time to go through this work.

In conclusion, one problem that aquatic insects must overcome is how to get oxygen while they are under water. All animals require a source of oxygen to live. Insects draw air into their bodies through spiracles, holes found along the sides of the abdomen. These spiracles are connected to tracheal tubes where oxygen can be absorbed. All aquatic insects have become adapted to their environment with the specialization of these structures.
Aquatic insect adapt through

  • Simple diffusion over a relatively thin integument
  • Temporary use of an air bubble
  • Extraction of oxygen from water using a plastron or physical gill
  • Storage of oxygen in hemoglobin molecules in hemolymph
  • Taking oxygen from surface via breathing tubes (siphons)

Other aquatic insects can remain under water for long periods due to high concentrations of hemoglobin in their hemolymph circulating freely within their body. Hemoglobin bonds strongly to oxygen molecules.

These insects interact greatly in the aquatic ecosystem as they serve as food to fishes and then enable we humans determine pure and polluted water amongst many other social and economic benefits as described in the work.

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