Caddisfly research in Lunz

Among the visitors of the Biological Station who worked over a longer time period, were amateur scientists who used the summer holidays for their studies. One of them was Hans Krawany, a teacher from St. Pölten. He started to study the caddisflies in 1925, mainly the larvae, in the streams in and around Lunz. He found important connections between the composition of the fauna and the water temperature. This pioneer work (Krawany 1928 - 1933) shows clearly the situation of the knowledge on Trichoptera in those years. In later years, Gertrud Pleskot and Ernst Pomeisl continued this study in Lunz. Elisabeth Danecker studied the hygropetric fauna including Tinodes zelleri and two Stactobia species.

From 1969 onwards, Hans Malicky had the opportunity to continue these studies. He came as a zoologist to the Biological Station Lunz of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and started with the study of running water ecology and, in particular, with the taxonomy and biology of caddisflies. He studied the water temperatures of the streams over a whole year and improved the identification of species by extending to the adult caddisflies. More tasks followed, and the result was a better taxonomic knowledge of the adult Trichoptera of the whole of Europe. The Atlas of European Trichoptera was published in 1983, and its second edition in 2004. More than 30 streams in the immediate surrounding of Lunz were studied with emergence traps, usually over one-year periods, but the Schreierbach, the Teichbach and the upper part of the Kothbergbach over eight years, with the assistance of Erich Lanzenberger. At several sites, light traps helped to complete the survey of caddisflies. The caddisflies in the samples were immediately identified, and other trapped insects were given to fellow workers in other institutions for further study. The resulting data may be found in the Zobodat database (www.zobodat.at). As daylength plays an important role in the phenology of plants and animals, a field experiment was performed at the Schreierbach, a stream with a constant water temperature of 6,5°C over all the year. Lamps were placed over the stream to supply the bottom with daily 18 hours of light over two years. In the Kothbergbach, several types of construction of emergence traps were compared over a period of eight years. More information on these streams, including the lists of species, may be found in the book “Lebensräume von Köcherfliegen” (Malicky 2014). More examples of streams with their caddisflies over the whole of Europe are found in this book, as well as examples of tropical streams.