In the present study, based on faunistic information collected during 2014 and 2015, in association with physical–chemical conditions of the collection sites, the environmental factors influencing the composition and distribution of chironomid assemblages were investigated. In total, 164 Chironomidae taxa reported in this study extended the existing checklist with 152 taxa newly found in the Skadar Lake basin. The comparison based on the list of species from the six large, well-studied European lakes showed that Lake Constance (Switzerland/Germany/Austria) is the most species-rich waterbody with 174 taxa, followed by Lake Skadar with 164 taxa. For pupal exuviae, the most species-rich site was situated in the centre of the small lake (north-western part of the Skadar Lake). A Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) revealed that shallow coastal parts of the lake are much richer in species than the open, deeper parts of the lake. This first investigation since 1979 of non-biting midge species (including imagines) diversity will help to monitor biodiversity of the basin and to understand how protection programs influence biodiversity within the lake basin.

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