Aquatic Entomology at Rutgers

Frank Louis Carle
 Curator, Rutgers Entomological Museum 
 Director, The New Jersey Aquatic Insect Survey
 Systematics, biodiversity, phylogenetic analyses, aquatic entomology, 
 paleontology and biogeography

 Education: Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University
 Phone: 732-932-3032                                                                     
 E-mail: carle@aesop.rutgers.edu
 Homepage: http://www-rci.rutgers.edu/~carle

Gomphurus delawarensis


Research Interests

    My research efforts have been devoted to the conservation of biodiversity and environmental protection.  Early in my career I developed improved aquatic sampling techniques for diversity estimation, and proposed a system for ranking rare and endangered species similar to that now used by Nature Serve.  I was the first entomologist to establish rare and endangered rankings for North American Dragonflies, Mayflies, Stoneflies, and Caddisflies.  I have described several species of Dragonflies and Mayflies new to science, established several new genera, and described the rarest and most ancient family of extant Dragonflies, the Austropetaliidae.  While conducting a survey for the Fish and Wildlife Service I discovered a new Gomphurus (see above) from the Delaware River, which is among the rarest dragonflies in North America.

 

Ophiopetelia diana Carle

    Carle and Louton (1995) established the   Austropetaliidae including several antipodean relict species and placed them as the sister group (dark green tree branch) to Aeshnidae (light green tree branch), while limiting Neopetaliidae to Neopetalia punctata which was placed at the base of the higher Libelluloidea as the sister group to Cordulegastridae (intermediate pink tree branch).

    I have worked as a Biodiversity consultant for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy since 1976.  My publications include insect systematics, biodiversity, biogeography, paleontology, and statistics.  I have been an adjunct professor for the Rutgers Department of Entomology since 1986, while teaching insect systematics, aquatic entomology, and entomology for anglers.  I also teach biological assessment team workshops in conjunction with the Cook College office of continuing professional education and  the NJDEP division of watershed management; I have helped train the Ameri-corp volunteers in invertebrate identification in order to help them establish watershed groups throughout New Jersey.  Currently I am also the senior lab supervisor for our molecular systematics laboratory; my research efforts now concentrate on the morphological and molecular systematic revision of basal Insect orders.  I am also the curator of the Rutgers Entomological Museum and director of The New Jersey Aquatic Insect Survey.


Rare and Endangered Dragonflies of New Jersey

                                                    Lanthus vernalis Carle

 

   In conjunction with the New Jersey Aquatic Insect Survey I have produced a poster which includes photographs, geographic distribution, adult season, habitat preferences, and endangered status of the rare and endangered Dragonflies of New Jersey. A representative photograph, distribution map, and included information is presented here for Lanthus vernalis Carle.

   Lanthus vernalis is easily distinguished from L. parvulus Selys by the more extensive lateral thoracic yellow areas. Adults perch on vegetation along very small spring fed streams in which their larvae live.  In New Jersey Adults fly from late May until mid July.  Black dots on the maps indicate known occurrences.  Current Status G4S3


The New Jersey Aquatic Insect Survey

 

     The objective of The New Jersey Aquatic Insect Survey is to establish a baseline species level inventory of aquatic invertebrates to be used in biological monitoring of our state's watersheds. New Jersey is an ecologically diverse state which lies situated as a transect across the ridge and valley and highlands physiographic provinces with boreal like forests in the north, across the piedmont and glacial terminus, and on to the Pine Barrens of the inner and outer coastal plain in the south. This physiographic and ecological diversity supports a diverse fauna with strong components from several of the biogeographic regions of eastern North America. Currently the NJDEP monitors 800+ aquatic sites in New Jersey, but only family level identifications are reported which greatly limits the utility of this data. Our species lists will enable the NJDEP and others to extract much more information from their data. Currently several sub sites of the aquatic web site are in preparation, these include Odonata (173 species), Trichoptera (220+ species), Culicidae (64 species), and Simuliidae (35 species). Funding for the Aquatic Insect Survey of New Jersey has attracted a diverse group of stake holders including: Trout Unlimited, NJDEP, The Nature Conservancy, the Center for Environmental Indicators at Rutgers, and the Federal Aviation Administration.


The Rutgers Entomological Museum

    The New Jersey Insect Collection has existed for 140 years, having been saved from a fire by John B. Smith at the turn of the century, and recently from demolition of the John B. Smith building by my successful efforts to obtain a new location for the collection in the McLean building.  This year the collection was used to establish the decline in non target moths and butterflies following Gypsy moth spraying.  My research efforts have been devoted to the conservation of biodiversity and environmental protection.  Early in my career I developed improved aquatic sampling techniques for diversity estimation, and proposed a system for ranking rare and endangered species similar to that now used by Nature Serve.  I was the first entomologist to establish rare and endangered rankings for North American Dragonflies, Mayflies, and Stoneflies, and Caddisflies.  I have described several species of Dragonflies and Mayflies new to science, established several new genera, and described the rarest and most ancient family of extant Dragonflies, the Austropetaliidae.  While conducting a survey for the Fish and Wildlife Service I discovered a new dragonfly from the Delaware River. It is perhaps not a good omen that such a huge brightly colored Dragonfly living so close to New York could go unnoticed for so long.

 

Relocated Insect Collection


Aquatic Sampling and Mathematics

    I developed maximum weighted likelihood estimation to handle the low population sizes (N), and probability of captures (p) often associated with benthic sampling. Conventional estimation techniques such as regression often resulted in estimator failure for typical Ns and ps.  For example, the catch vector 1,1,1 results in an infinite estimate of N when using regression estimation, clearly in this case N is more likely to be near the total catch (T).  A removal catch vector is a set of successive (K) catches (C1, C2, C3, ) removed with equal effort from an enclosed sample population.  The Carle decision rule based on a uniform prior is shown below, and a more general rule for known mean and variance of P is given by Carle and Strub (1978).                   

1 (N 1)/(N - T + 1) Γi ((KN X T + 1 + (K-i))/((KN X + 2 + (K-i))

where: X = S i (K-i) Ci and T = S i Ci

If you would like a demonstration, specify a catch vector with catches separated by commas and click submit:


Courses Taught

Aquatic Entomology
Entomology 11 370 402
Tuesdays and Thursdays Period 6 - 4:30 to 5:10
Course Syllabus

World of Insects
Entomology 11 370 202
Mondays and Thursdays 12:35 to 1:55
Course Syllabus
Review slides
Term Definitions
Grades as of 12/10/10


Week          Lecture Title                                                                                    
 1      Introduction, Insect orders and morphology
 1      Families of larval Odonata, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 2      Genera of larval Odonata, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 2      Families of adult Odonata, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 3      Families of larval Ephemeroptera, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 4      Genera of larval Ephemeroptera, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 5      Families of adult Ephemeroptera,  taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 6      Families of larval Plecoptera, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 7      Genera of larval Plecoptera, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 8      Families of adult Plecoptera, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 9      Families of Hemiptera, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 10    Families of Megaloptera and Coleoptera, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 11    Genera of Megaloptera and Coleoptera, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 12    Families of Diptera and Trichoptera, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior
 13    Genera of Diptera and Trichoptera, taxonomy, ecology, and behavior

 

Entomology for Anglers
Agricultural & Environmental Science 11 05 256
Mondays  Period 3 - 11:45 am to 12:40 pm
Course Syllabus







Week          Lecture Title                                                                   
1      Introduction, Insect Orders and Morphology    
2      Mayfly Biology                                                            
3      Ephemeroptera (Mayflies) Identification                       
4      Ephemeroptera Identification Cont.                     
5      Dragonfly/Damsel Fly Biology                      
6      Odonata (Dragonflies and Damsel Flies) Identification 
7      Biology of Stoneflies and other Insects        
8      Mandatory field trip to the Pequest Trout Hatchery
9      Plecoptera (Stoneflies) Identification             
10    Caddisfly Biology                                 
11    Tricoptera (Caddisflies) Identification  
12    Flowers and Bugs    
 


Selected Publications

Carle, F.L. & Kjer, K.M. (2002): Phylogeny of Libellula Linnaeus (Odonata: Insecta). Zootaxa, Aug. 87:1-18.

Carle, F.L. (1996): Revision of Austropetaliidae. Odonatologica 25:231-259

Carle, F.L. (1995): Evolution, Taxonomy and Biogeography of ancient gondwanian libelluloids, with comments on anisopteroid evolution and phylogenetic systematics. Odonatologica 24:383-424

Carle, F.L, & Louton, J.A. (1994): The larva of Neopetalia punctata and establishment of Austropetalidae. (Odonata). - Proc. ent Soc.  Wash., 96(l): 147-155

Carle, F.L. (1993):Sympetrum jaeae spec. nov. from eastern North America, with a key to Nearctic Sympetrum. Odonatologica 2:1-16

Carle, F.L. & Wighton, D.C. (1990): Chapter 3. Odonata. in: Insects from the  Santana Formation, Lower Cretaceous, of Brazil. - Bull. amer.  Mus. nat.  Hist., 195: 51-68

Carle,F.L.(1986): The classification, phylogeny and biogeography of the Gomphidae (Anisoptera).Odonatologica, 15(3): 275-326

Carle, F.L. (1982): Thoughts on the origin of insect flight. - Ent.  News, 93(5): 159-172

Carle, F.L. (1982): Evolution of the odonate copulatory process. - Odonatologica, 11(4): 271-286

Carle, F.L. (1982): A contribution to the knowledge of the Odonata.  Ph.D. thesis, Virginia Polytech.  Inst. & St. Univ.: Blacksburg, VA,

Carle, F.L. (1982b): The wing vein homologies and phylogeny of the Odonata: A continuing debate. - Soc. int. Odonatologica rapid Communs, 4: 66.