The Trichoptera of Panama X. The Quebrada Rambala drainage, with description of 19 new species of microcaddisflies (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae)


  • Steven C. Harris
  • Brian J. Armitage


Caddisflies, Chao2, Bocas del Toro, Rio Margarita, Metrichia trebeki.


The Quebrada Rambala drainage is found immediately south and south-southeast of the town of Chiriqui Grande and east of Rambala on the Caribbean coast. It is one of two tributaries of the Rio Margarita watershed, a small, lowland drainage with elevations up to 180 m. During the 2014-2017 period, collections of caddisflies (Insecta: Trichoptera), employing both UV-light and Malaise traps, were made at two locations on Quebrada Rambala proper, and four locations on its unnamed tributary, all on a land area of approximately 1 ha. As a result, 127 species of caddisflies were identified, including 59 species of microcaddisflies. A non-parametric estimator of true, or potential, species richness based on rare species present for this watershed is 211 species. Previously, 19 new country records were published from this location. In this paper, we record three additional country records (Hydrobiosidae: Atopsyche minimajada Blahnik and Gottschalk; Hydroptilidae: Leucotrichia rhomba Thomson and Holzenthal and Oxyethira (Oxytrichia) apinolada Holzenthal and Harris) and describe and illustrate 19 new species of microcaddisflies (Alistotrichia bernali, Cerasmatrichia blahniki, Costatrichia santosi, Metrichia macdonaldi, M. thomsonae, M. thurmani, M. trebeki, Neotrichia carlsoni, N. rambala, N. serrata, N. starki, Ochrotrichia birdae, O. dewalti, O. kondratieffi, Oxyethira buenoi, Rhyacopsyche holzenthali, Tizatetrichia panamensis, Zumatrichia flinti, and Z. hazelae). Combined, this one small portion of the Quebrada Rambala has increased Panama’s caddisfly fauna by 41 species of microcaddisflies. Additionally, several new species of macrocaddisflies await description. Finally, we add one new genus to Panama’s fauna (Hydroptilidae: Tizatetrichia Harris, Flint, and Holzenthal). With the publication of these new taxa, Panama’s caddisfly fauna now includes 403 species in 15 families and 53 genera. We also suggest that multiple collections over time for all stream orders, employing several collection methods, are required in order to better estimate species richness within a drainage.