The Efficiency of Light-Trap Catches of Caddisfly (Trichoptera) Species in Connection with the Height of Tropopause in Hungary (Central Europe)  

L. Nowinszky1 , J. Puskás1 , O. Kiss2
1. University of West Hungary, Savaria University Centre, H-9700 Szombathely Károlyi G. Square 4., Hungary

2. Eszterházy Károly College, Dept. of Zoology, H-3300 Eger Eszterházy Square 1., Hungary
Author    Correspondence author
Molecular Entomology, 2015, Vol. 6, No. 3   doi: 10.5376/me.2015.06.0003
Received: 16 Mar., 2015    Accepted: 05 May, 2015    Published: 18 May, 2015

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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Nowinszky et al., 2015, The Efficiency of Light-Trap Catches of Caddisfly (Trichoptera) Species in Connection with the Height of Tropopause in Hungary (Central Europe), Molecular Entomology, Vol.6, No.3 1-7 (doi: 10.5376/me.2015.06.0003)


The study deals with the effectiveness of light traps in catching 25 species of caddisfly (Trichoptera) in connection with the height of tropopause. According to our results the catch of some species rises, in contrast other reduce in relation to the height of the tropopause.The results can be written down with second- or third-degree polynomials. Further testing will be required to provide a fuller explanation of the results.

Caddisflies; Light-trap; Height of tropopause

The changes in midlatitude air mass circulation are caused by a rise in the height of the tropopause, and other factors as increased moisture content in the atmosphere (Lorenz and DeWeaver 2007). If there are changes in the air mass circulation it must be changes in the elements of the weather such as temperature, air humidity, air pressure, wind speed and direction.

The tropopause is the dividing surface between the lower layers of atmosphere (troposphere) and upper atmosphere layers (stratosphere). The height of tropopause varies.
The changes in tropopause height more weather elements contains a complex way: air temperature, humidity, strength of wind, air pressure, precipitation.
It is only 5 km when cold arctic air is above the surface, but it can be 16 km height at the presence of subtropical air masses.
A low tropopause is related the presence of cold and high tropopause the presence of warm types of air, while insect activity is increased by warm and reduced by cold air. An over 13 km height of the tropopause often indicates a subtropical air stream at a great height. This has a strong biological influence. These results may lead us to assume that the electric factors in the atmosphere also have an important role to play, mainly when a stream of subtropical air arrives at great height. On such occasions the 3Hz spherics impulse number shows a decrease, while cosmic radiation of the Sun will be on the increase (Örményi 1984). The preponderance of negative ions in polar air reduces activity, while the preponderance of positive ions in subtropical maritime air may spur flight activity (Örményi 1967).
The first situation did not appear, because our investigation was in the summer months, even the lower value of 8 km was only observed 6 times. Incidence of subtropical air masses with high tropopause was significantly more frequent.
As the changes in tropopause height causes also changes in the weather in the lower layers of air in large areas, we examined the efficiency of the catch of the light traps in connection with changes in the tropopause height. We did not find communications dealing with this topic in the literature apart from our own works. In recent years, some studies have already been published for different moth species and we could prove the above hypothesis (Örményi et al. 1997, Puskás and Nowinszky 2000, Puskás et al. 2003, Nowinszky and Puskás 2013). Our research has recently been extended to examine the light trapping of caddisflies (Trichoptera) species in the context of the tropopause height. These results will be demonstrated in this paper.
1 Material and Method
We collected the daily data of tropopause height (in km) values from the Library of the Hungarian Meteorological Service (Budapest) for the years 1980 to 2000, between May and September. We made our own light trap collections at 8 sites between 1980 and 2000 (Table 1), during the summer months over a 10 year period (May to September) on all nights. The determination of the specimens was made by Otto Kiss. In this study we used the data from the most frequently captured 25 species. We also used the Oecetis ochracea Curtis daily data collection from Újhelyi (1971), which originated from material taken by seven agricultural light traps, which was identified by Újhelyi (Table 1).

Table 1 The geographical coordinates of the collection sites and collection years in Hungary, Europe

The list of analysed species can be seen in Table 2 with collecting sites and years. The species are listed in taxonomic order (Table 2). The taxonomic classification follows Kiss (2003).

Table 2 Collection data of the analysed caddisfly (Trichoptera) species from Hungary, Europe

Each collection was made using a standard Jermy-type light-trap.
The lamp was operated 200 cm above the ground; the light source was a 100W tungsten filament bulb. A metal roof protected the light source and also the caught insects from rain. Chloroform was used as the killing agent. Thetraps were in operation from sunset till sunrise. Determination of trapped insects and data logging was undertaken in the morning.

We calculated relative catch values for each species at each of its sites.
The relative catch was defined as the quotient of the number of individuals of a species caught during a sampling time unit (1 night) compared against the average number of individuals of that species expected for a sampling unit of the same length at that site, calculated over the whole of its flight period. For example when the actual catch was equal to the average individual number captured, the relative catch value was 1 (Nowinszky 2003).
Data on the height of the tropopause organized into groups as used by Sturges (Odor and Iglói 1987) method. The relative catch values ??of each analysed species were grouped according to the daily height of tropopause and then the values were summarized and averaged.
2 Results and Discussion
Our results are shown in Table 3 and Figures 1-2. The characteristic curves and associated parameters are indicated in the figures and significance levels are also given.

Figure 1 Light-trap catch of Goera pilosa Fabricius depending on the height of tropopause (Uppony, 1992)

Figure 2 Light trap catch of Limnephilus affinis Curtis depending on the height of tropopause (Szolnok, 2000)

Table 3 Selected values of some species and the parameters of equations with the significance levels

figures show that the light trap catches vary between families in relation to the height of the tropopause. The tropopause height in the lower air layers is associated with different weather situations. Insects, such as caddisflies also change the flight activity of responding to changing weather conditions. Low tropopause is linked to the presence of cold, but high tropopause with hot air masses. The hot air can increase the insect activity and cold air causes the opposite. If there is a link to tropopause height other factors may have an influence.
The tropopause height above 13 km often indicates the type of subtropical air inflow at high altitude and it has a strong biological effectiveness. Atmospheric electrical factors may also have a role, especially during the high-altitude subtropical air inflow. In this case, for example, 3 Hz spherics pulses are reduced, while the solar cosmic rays increase (Örményi 1984). The atmospheric ions may also have a significant role (Örményi 1967). The arctic air may decrease flight activity factor due to the dominance of negative ions, but the dominance of positive ions in the subtropical air could be a factor in increasing flight activity.
The light-trap catch of species of Rhyacophilidae, Goeridae and Odontoceridae rise as the height of the tropopause increases. It seems, warm subtropical air, belonging to high tropopause, favours active flight of these species, which is reflected in the high light trap catch. In contrast, the catches of species of Glossosomatidae, Hydroptilidae, Ecnomidae, Limnephilidae, Sericostomatidae Leptoceridae are reduced if the tropopause height increases. The flight of these species could be reduced by the presence of warm air.
The light-trap catch of species of Polycentropodidae and Hydropsychidae genus varies. If the height of the tropopause increased there was a corresponding increase in the catch of Neureclipsis bimaculata L. (caught in 1982 and 1983), but a decrease in the year 2000 catch.
It is remarkable that from the trapped 10 species near Szolnok in 2000, the catch of nine species decreased when the tropopause is high and there is only one increase.
Our results show that the relationship between the light trap catch of the species examined compared with the tropopause height can be almost written down with second and third-degree polynomials. It is striking that no one genus contains such species, that the relationship between the collection and tropopause height can be characterized only with second- or third-degree polynomial. However, it is surprising that the results of Neureclipsisbimaculata L. coming from 1982 and 1983 collection can be described with third degree polynomial, but the collection results originating from 2000 can be written down with a second-degree polynomial. In contrast, the light-trap catches of Oecetis ochracea Curtis individuals in connection with the tropopause height in 1960 and also in 2000 were characterized by the same curve.
The connection between weather and tropopause is not completely known, therefore we hope later investigations will provide a fuller explanation about the causes of the results we obtained.
We would like to kindly thank the Library of the Hungarian Meteorological Service for their help.
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