There is limited information on the three species of caddisflies Philopotamidae Chimarra holzenthali, Hydropsychidae Cheumatopsyche morsei, Hydroptilidae Hydroptila ouachita and the western dwarf salamander Eurycea paludicola. In particular, there is a lack of any habitat associations between these caddisflies and the western dwarf salamander. Museum specimens of the caddisflies are scarce; however, the literature suggests they are spring dwelling like the western dwarf salamander. The goal of this project was to sample previously known and new habitats where these organisms might be found and report overall quality of the habitats and whether the caddisflies were associated with the salamanders. The proposed project examined historical sites of the caddisfly and dwarf salamander populations in Jackson Parish, Louisiana, and Anderson County, Texas, along with new sites located in Smith, Bell, Burleson, Hill, Madison, McLennan, and Travis counties. I expected to find the target caddisfly species and dwarf salamander in pristine and undeveloped spring systems only, and that each of the caddisfly species would be present if the dwarf salamander was also present. Water chemistry analyses showed that the dwarf salamander was only found in sites with low levels of conductivity, where conductivity served as a strong model of salamander presence based off a logistic regression analysis. This supports the hypothesis that these organisms need pristine and undeveloped habitats to survive. One of the three target caddisfly species was found to be associated with salamander presence through a discriminant function analysis. This same species was also found to be an indicator species of the dwarf salamander through an indicator species analysis. These results partially support the hypothesis that all of the target caddisfly species would be found when salamanders were present. It was concluded that these two organisms do indeed share similar habitat requirements.

Date of publication

Summer 8-22-2022

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Lance Williams, Neil Ford, Brent Bill, Marsha Williams


Master of Science in Biology

Included in

Biology Commons