Edwardsina tasmaniensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Edwardsina tasmaniensis
Species Authority: Tonnoir, 1924
Common Name(s):
English Tasmanian Torrent Midge

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-01-25
Assessor(s): Gerlach, J.
Reviewer(s): Zwick, P.
This species was known originally from the type locality in the Cataract Gorge of the South Esk River, Launceston, northern Tasmania. The river is dammed at Trevallyn Dam near Launceston and used for the city's Hydro Electricity scheme. Although most of the water is dammed at Lake Trevallyn, some flows on into the Cataract Gorge where it becomes a tributary to the Tamar River, and the outflow from the power station also joins the Tamar River downstream of Launceston. It has not been located in Cataract Gorge since it was dammed in 1956, and was thought to be extinct in 1977. A single specimen was located in Dennison River in southwest Tasmania in 1976. This surviving population is within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. This population is not under immediate threat but is highly vulnerable to any changes in water flow, such as might be caused by changing rainfall resulting from climate change.
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species was known originally from the type locality in the Cataract Gorge of the South Esk River, Launceston, northern Tasmania. This population is almost certainly extinct due to water extraction by a hydroelectric dam.  A small population survives in the Dennison River in southwest Tasmania.
Australia (Tasmania)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No data are available on the population but this species has only been observed in small numbers.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in fast flowing small rivers at 100-200 m asl. Adults and larvae are predatory; larvae in streams and adults near water.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main population was threatened by the construction of the hydroelectric dam in 1956 which changed the water flow through the Cataract Gorge; this has probably resulted in the extinction of this population. The Dennison River population may be threatened by any factors that affect stream flow, climate change altering rainfall and hence hydrology may be a concern.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The only recently recorded population (Dennison River) is within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

Citation: Gerlach, J. 2014. Edwardsina tasmaniensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 02 April 2015.
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