The global EPTO database : worldwide occurrences of aquatic insects

Afroditi Grigoropoulou, Suhaila Ab Hamid, Raúl Acosta, Emmanuel Olusegun Akindele, Salman A. Al-Shami, Florian Altermatt, Giuseppe Amatulli, David G. Angeler, Francis O. Arimoro, Jukka Aroviita, Anna Astorga-Roine, Rafael Costa Bastos, Núria Bonada, Nikos Boukas, Cecilia Brand, Vanessa Bremerich, Alex Bush, Qinghua Cai, Marcos Callisto, Kai ChenPaulo Vilela Cruz, Olivier Dangles, Russell Death, Xiling Deng, Eduardo Domínguez, David Dudgeon, Tor Erik Eriksen, Ana Paula J. Faria, Maria João Feio, Camino Fernández-Aláez, Mathieu Floury, Francisco García-Criado, Jorge García-Girón, Wolfram Graf, Mira Grönroos, Peter Haase, Neusa Hamada, Fengzhi He, Jani Heino, Ralph Holzenthal, Kaisa Leena Huttunen, Dean Jacobsen, Sonja C. Jähnig, Walter Jetz, Richard K. Johnson, Leandro Juen, Vincent Kalkman, Vassiliki Kati, Unique N. Keke, Ricardo Koroiva, Mathias Kuemmerlen, Simone Daniela Langhans, Raphael Ligeiro, Kris Van Looy, Alain Maasri, Richard Marchant, Jaime Ricardo Garcia Marquez, Renato T. Martins, Adriano S. Melo, Leon Metzeling, Maria Laura Miserendino, S. Jannicke Moe, Carlos Molineri, Timo Muotka, Kaisa Riikka Mustonen, Heikki Mykrä, Jeane Marcelle Cavalcante do Nascimento, Francisco Valente-Neto, Peter J. Neu, Carolina Nieto, Steffen U. Pauls, Dennis R. Paulson, Blanca Rios-Touma, Marciel Elio Rodrigues, Fabio de Oliveira Roque, Juan Carlos Salazar Salina, Dénes Schmera, Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber, Deep Narayan Shah, John P. Simaika, Tadeu Siqueira, Ram Devi Tachamo-Shah, Günther Theischinger, Ross Thompson, Jonathan D. Tonkin, Yusdiel Torres-Cambas, Colin Townsend, Eren Turak, Laura Twardochleb, Beixin Wang, Liubov Yanygina, Carmen Zamora-Muñoz, Sami Domisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Motivation: Aquatic insects comprise 64% of freshwater animal diversity and are widely used as bioindicators to assess water quality impairment and freshwater ecosystem health, as well as to test ecological hypotheses. Despite their importance, a comprehensive, global database of aquatic insect occurrences for mapping freshwater biodiversity in macroecological studies and applied freshwater research is missing. We aim to fill this gap and present the Global EPTO Database, which includes worldwide geo-referenced aquatic insect occurrence records for four major taxa groups: Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Odonata (EPTO). Main type of variables contained: A total of 8,368,467 occurrence records globally, of which 8,319,689 (99%) are publicly available. The records are attributed to the corresponding drainage basin and sub-catchment based on the Hydrography90m dataset and are accompanied by the elevation value, the freshwater ecoregion and the protection status of their location. Spatial location and grain: The database covers the global extent, with 86% of the observation records having coordinates with at least four decimal digits (11.1 m precision at the equator) in the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84) coordinate reference system. Time period and grain: Sampling years span from 1951 to 2021. Ninety-nine percent of the records have information on the year of the observation, 95% on the year and month, while 94% have a complete date. In the case of seven sub-datasets, exact dates can be retrieved upon communication with the data contributors. Major taxa and level of measurement: Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Odonata, standardized at the genus taxonomic level. We provide species names for 7,727,980 (93%) records without further taxonomic verification. Software format: The entire tab-separated value (.csv) database can be downloaded and visualized at Fifty individual datasets are also available at, while six datasets have restricted access. For the latter, we share metadata and the contact details of the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-655
Number of pages14
JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Issue number5
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Mar 2023


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