Red List of Aquatic Invertebrates

A large proportion of the hundreds of species that have become extinct worldwide in the past few hundred years are insects and other invertebrates. The top three most at-risk groups of animals in the United States are aquatic invertebrates: stoneflies, freshwater mussels, and crayfish. The Nature Conservancy and the Association for Biodiversity Information estimate that 69% of all freshwater mussels, 51% of all crayfish, and 43% of all stoneflies are extinct, critically imperiled, or vulnerable to extinction; all three of these species groups depend on freshwater aquatic habitats for survival. The fourth and fifth most imperiled animals are fish and amphibians; two groups that depend on both aquatic invertebrates for food and aquatic habitats for survival.

Aquatic invertebrates are jeopardized by habitat destruction, introduced species, pollution, and altered hydrologic regimes. Unfortunately, these organisms are often overlooked and under-protected. Conservation of imperiled aquatic invertebrate species will require a concerted effort in which scientists, conservationists, informed amateurs, and land managers must be actively involved. To this end, The Xerces Society is creating a Red List of at-risk aquatic invertebrate species. The Aquatic Red List draws on published and unpublished data and collection records to identify threatened, endangered, and vulnerable species, their habitats, their historical and current distributions, critical threats to their survival, and conservation needs. The Red List will help heighten awareness of the plight of aquatic invertebrates and gain protection for the most vulnerable species before they decline to a level where recovery is impossible.

Scientific Name
Common Name
Red List Status
Canada
Mexico
USA
Sponges
Ephydatia cooperensis A freshwater sponge
I
MT
Mollusks
Fisherola nuttalli Giant Columbia River limpet; shortface lanx
I
BC (?) ID, MT (presumed extirpated), OR, WA
Mayflies
Baetis moqui Moqui minnow mayfly I UT
Caurinella idahoensis Lolo mayfly
V
ID, MT
Dragonflies and Damselflies
Megalagrion leptodemas Crimson Hawaiian damselfly
CI
HI
Megalagrion nesiotes Flying earwig Hawaiian damselfly
CI
HI
Megalagrion nigrohamatum nigrolineatum Blackline Hawaiian damselfly
I
HI
Megalagrion oceanicum Oceanic Hawaiian damselfly
CI
HI
Megalagrion pacificum Pacific Hawaiian damselfly
CI
HI
Megalagrion xanthomelas Orangeblack Hawaiian damselfly
V
HI
Beetles
Cicindela columbica Columbia River tiger beetle
CI
OR & WA (presumed extirpated), ID
Stoneflies
Capnia arapahoe Arapahoe snowfly
I
CO
Capnia lineata Straight stonefly
I
ID
Capnia zukeli Idaho stonefly
CI
ID
Caddisflies
Agapetus montanus An agapetus caddisfly
V
MB (?) ID, MT
Ochotricia susanae
Susan’s purse-making caddisfly CI CO
Sericostriata surdickae A northern Rocky Mountain Refugium caddisfly
V
ID, MT
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