Thursday, June 20, 2019

Updated Species List for Central Virginia

Since I've been finding a number of new species this year, I thought it best that I update the EPT (Mayflies, Stoneflies, and Caddisflies) List of the taxa I've found so far in this part of Virginia.  Hope to add even more species real soon!

EPT Species List for Central Virginia
         (Albemarle, Greene, Madison, Fluvanna)
I. Ephemeroptera (Mayflies)

1. Ameletidae

1. Ameletus lineatus
2. Ameletus cryptostimulus
3. Ameletus tertius

2. Baetidae (Small minnow mayflies)

1. Acentrella nadineae
2. Acentrella turbida
3. Baetis flavistriga
4. Baetis intercalaris
5. Baetis pluto
6. Baetis tricaudatus
7. Heterocloeon curiosum
8. Heterocloeon amplum
9. Heterocloeon petersi
10. Iswaeon anoka
11. Labiobaetis propinquus
12. Plauditus dubius

3. Isonychiidae (Brushlegged mayflies)

1. Isonychia sp. (bicolor?)

4. Heptageniidae (Flatheaded mayflies)

1. Cinygmula subaequalis
2. Epeorus pleuralis
3. Epeorus vitreus
4. Epeorus fragilis
5. Heptagenia marginalis
6. Leucrocuta hebe
7. Leucrocuta sp.
8. Leucrocuta aphrodite
9. Leucrocuta thetis
10. Maccaffertium ithaca
11. Maccaffertium merririvulanum
12. Maccaffertium pudicum
13. Maccaffertium vicarium
14. Maccaffertium modestum
15. Rhithrogena exilis
16. Rhithrogena manifesta
17 Rhithrogena sp. (uhari?)
18. Rhithrogena sp. (fasciata?)
19. Stenacron carolina
20. Stenacron interpunctatum

5.  Ephemerellidae (Spiny crawler mayflies)

1. Drunella cornutella
2. Drunella tubercula
3. Drunella walkeri
4. Ephemerella dorothea
5. Ephemerella invaria
6. Ephemerella subvaria
7. Eurylophella verisimilis
8. Eurylophella funeralis (found by DB)
9. Eurylophella sp. (minimella?) (found by DB)
9. Serratella serratoides
10. Serratella serrata
11. Teloganopsis deficiens

6. Baetiscidae (Armored mayflies)

1. Baetisca berneri

7. Caenidae

(I saw a lot of Caenidae when I was with StreamWatch: not a one since then.  I hope to correct this so I can determine genus and species.)

8. Leptohyphidae (Little stout crawler mayflies)

1. Tricorythodes

9. Leptophlebiidae (Pronggilled mayflies)

1. Neoleptophlebia assimilis
2. Paraleptophlebia guttata
3. Paraleptophlebia jeanae
4. Paraleptophlebia strigula
5. Habrophlebia vibrans
6. Leptophlebia sp.

10. Ephemeridae (Common burrower mayflies)

1. Ephemera guttalata

II. Plecoptera (Stoneflies)

1. Capniidae (Small winter stoneflies)

1. Allocapnia pygmaea
2. Paracapnia angulata

2. Leuctridae (Needleflies)

1. Leuctra sp.

3. Nemouridae (Forestflies)

1. Amphinemura delosa
2. Prostoia completa
3. Soyedina sp.(carolinensis?)

4. Taeniopterygidae (Large winter stoneflies)

1. Strophopteryx fasciata
2. Taenionema atlanticum
3. Taeniopteryx burksi/maura

5.  Chloroperlidae (Green stoneflies)

1. Alloperla sp.
2. Haploperla brevis
3. Sweltsa sp.

6. Peltoperlidae (Roach-like stoneflies)

1. Peltoperla sp.
2. Tallaperla sp.
3. Viehoperla sp. (found by DB)

7. Perlidae (Common stoneflies)

1. Acroneuria abnormis (brown)
2. Acroneuria abnormis (patterned)
3. Acroneuria carolinensis
4. Acroneuria sp. (possibly internata, possibly a variety of abnormis)
5. Acroneuria arenosa
6. Acroneuria lycorias
7. Agnetina annulipes
8. Agnetina capitata
9. Agnetina flavescens
10. Eccoptura xanthenses
11. Neoperla sp. (clymene?)
12. Paragnetina immarginata
13. Paragnetina fumosa
14. Perlesta spp. (various species)

8. Perlodidae (Springflies and Stripetails)

1. Clioperla clio
2. Diploperla duplicata
3. Helopicus subvarians
4. Isogenoides hansoni
5. Isoperla dicala
6. Isoperla holochlora (light form)
7. Isoperla holochlora (dark form)
8. Isoperla latta/pseudolatta
9. Isoperla kirchneri group
   (probably both I. kirchneri and I. montana)
10. Isoperla similis/prosimilis group
11. Isoperla davisi
12. Isoperla orata
13. Isoperla orata (variant form)
14. Isoperla nelsoni
15. Malirekus hastatus
16. Rememus bilobatus

9. Pteronarcys (Giant stoneflies)

1. Pteronarcys biloba
2. Pteronarcys dorsata
3. Pteronarcys proteus

III. Trichoptera (Caddisflies)

1. Rhyacophilidae (Free-living caddisflies)

1. Rhyacophila carolina
2. Rhyacophlia fuscula
3. Rhyacophila nigrita
4. Rhyacophila glaberrima
5. Rhyacophila fenestra
6. Rhyacophila sp. (banksi?)
7. Rhyacophila torva

2. Glossosomatidae (Saddle-case makers)

1. Glossosoma nigrior

3. Philopotamidae (Fingernet caddisflies)

1. Chimarra obscura
2. Dolophilodes distinctus
3. Wormaldia sp.

4. Polycentropodidae

1. Polycentropus sp.

5. Hydropsychidae (Common Netspinners)

1. Ceratopsyche alhedra
2. Ceratopsyche bronta
3. Ceratopsyche morosa
4. Ceratopsyche slossonae
5. Ceratopsyche sparna
6. Cheumatopsyche sp.
7. Ceratopsyche etnieri
8. Diplectrona modesta
9. Diplectrona metaqui (found by DB)
10. Hydropsyche betteni
11. Hydropsyche rossi
12. Hydropsyche venularis
13. Hydropsyche potomacensis
14. Macrostemum carolinensis

6. Brachycentridae (Humpless case-makers)

1. Adicrophleps hitchcocki
2. Brachycentrus appalachia
3. Micrasema wataga
4. Micrasema charonis
5. Micrasema bennetti

9. Lepidostomatidae

1. Lepidostoma spp. (at least 2 species, possibly more)
2. Theliopsyche sp.

10. Limnephilidae (Northern case-makers)

1. Pycnopsyche gentilis
2. Pycnopsyche scabripennis
3. Pycnopsyche luculenta
4. Pseudostenophalyx sparsus
5. Ironoquia punctatissima

11. Apataniidae

1. Apatania incerta

12. Goeridae

1. Goera calcarata
2. Goera fuscula

 13. Uenoidae

1. Neophylax oligius
2. Neophylax consimillis
3. Neophylax aniqua
4. Neophylax mitchelli
5. Neophylax fuscus
6. Neophylax concinnus

14. Leptoceridae (Long-horned case-makers)

1. Nectopsyche equisita
2. Ceraclea maculata

15. Odontoceridae (Strong case-makers)

1. Psilotreta labida
2. Psilotreta frontalis
3. Psilotreta rufa (found by DB)

16. Molannidae (Hooded-case maker)

1. Molanna blenda (found by DB)

17. Calamoceratidae (found by StreamWatch monitors)

1. Anisocentropus pyraloides

New taxa -- so far -- in 2019

It's been a good year so far in terms of finding new species of EPT, so I thought I'd sum up our findings so far.

1. In the photo above, a free living caddisfly larva, Rhyacophila torva.  (Small mountain stream in Sugar Hollow.)

2. A new caddis casemaker, Ironoquia punctatissima. (Small intermittent stream in Sugar Hollow.)

3. An Ameletidae, Ameletus tertius. Rapidan River.

4.  A new Hydropsychidae species, Ceratopsyche etnieri.  (Buck Mt. Creek.  Not the best photo.  I hope to find another one soon.)

5. And another Hydropsychidae, Hydropsyche potomacensis.  (Whippoorwill Branch of the Mechums.)  (Again, I need to get a better photo.)

Also worth noting, I found a pronggilled mayfly that I've only seen once before.  It's very uncommon.

6. Habrophlebia vibrans.  (Small mountain stream in Sugar Hollow.)

Kind of a bumper crop this year.  My summer focus will be working on Hydropsychidae, and I won't be surprised if I identify even more species. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

A fresh look at the problem of Rhithrogena species ID

I found this little nymph at Buck Mt. Creek last Thursday (4/11/19),  and since we have a new key to use for species ID -- Morse, McCafferty, Stark, and Jacobus, Editors, Larvae of the Southeastern USA: Mayfly, Stonefly, and Caddisfly Species, 2017 -- I thought I might see if I could work out the species ID.  My conclusions should be seen as tentative since I know from Beaty that work still needs to be done on this genus, and the descriptions in our new book are indeed rather tentative.  Nonetheless, using this key, I'd conclude that, to date, I've found three different species.

1. Rhithrogena uhari (the nymph above)

The description of R. uhari reads as follows: "Abdominal terga light yellow brown to light chestnut brown to cinnamon brown; conspicuous dorsal abdominal marking not present in darker forms but some diffuse pairs of markings sometimes evident in lighter-colored forms, including pairs of cloudy patches laterally." (p. 122)

The color sure seems right, and I do see pale paired dots on the terga as well as interesting lateral markings on all of the terga.  Can't say if they're "cloudy," since I'm not sure what that the editors have in mind.

So, possibly R. uhari.

2. Rhithrogena exilis

Beaty told me sometime ago that this one would key out to exilis, even though he cautioned to take that ID with a grain of salt.  Here's the description of exilis in our new key.  "Abdominal terga 1 and 2 pale yellow; terga 3-6 dark reddish brown and unmarked except for yellow or yellow-hyaline lateral margins; terga 7-9 yellowish, unmarked."  (p. 122) This one works out pretty well: terga 1 and 2 are indeed pale, as are 8 and 9 -- can't say that's true for tergite 7.  But, I do see pale markings on the terga.

3. Rhithrogena fasciata

This nymph is clearly darker than the two we've looked at above.  Here's the description of R. fasciata"Abdominal terga medium to dark brown or orange brown; terga 1 and 2 sometimes pale; terga 4-8 sometimes darker anteriorly and paler posteriorly; terga 7-9 often shade lighter than preceding terga." (p. 122)

Certainly true that terga 1 and 2 are pale, and terga 8 and 9 are clearly a "shade lighter than the preceding terga" -- not sure I could say that of segment 7.  It is not the case that terga 4-8 are "darker anteriorly and paler posteriorly," rather, it seems that the posterior edge is darker.  That character doesn't apply to any of the species that our key describes, so maybe it's a variant with this species.  But that exception should be noted.

Results and conclusions are tentative for sure.  Still, I'd argue that we've clearly found three different species, and they key out pretty closely to uhari, exilis, and fasciata.  Be in touch if anything new shows up on this one.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Another new insect: an Ameletidae, Ameletus tertius

I found this little mayfly at the Rapidan River on Tuesday, and when I looked at it in the bowl, my first guess was that it was nothing but the small minnow mayfly, Baetis intercalaris.  Still, something wasn't quite right.  It was only when I focussed in to get some photos that I realized this was something I'd not seen before.  By the shape of the head, the short antennae, and the fact that the gills pointed straight up and down -- sort of like the oar blades on a crew boat -- I knew that it was Ameletidae,  but what species?

When I got home I looked at Steve Beaty's descriptions ("The Ephemeroptera of North Carolina," p. 1) in which five different species are keyed out for this part of the country -- cryptostimulus, lineatus, ludens, tarteri, and tertius.    The A. tertius description caught my eye for one prominent reason: "distinctly marked small species with dorsal terga 3-6 with two large, ovalized submedian segments" (Beaty, p. 1)  Bingo!

And another feature shows up in this photo as well -- "tarsi with both dark basal and apical bands." (Beaty)

But there were two other features that required some microscope work: 1) "ventrally pale except sterna 9 and 10 darkened (also sometimes a portion of 8)," and 2) "posterior spinules on abdominal terga 1 or 2-10."

Yes in both cases (though I realize it may be difficult in my photo to see the spinules except for those on segments 5 and 6, they were present on all of 2-10.)

Score again for the Rapidan River -- Ameletus tertius!  Here's some more photos.

Sometimes I wonder why I go to other streams.

A. tertius is the fourth Ameletidae species I've found.  The others,

Ameletus cryptostimulus,

Ameletus lineatus,

and in Montana, Ameletus subnotatus.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ironoquia punctatissima: a new caddisfly casemaker in a small stream in Sugar Hollow

Yesterday afternoon, I went with a friend to a tiny stream in Sugar Hollow, one in low-lying ground.  It was shallow and slow-moving, just a couple of feet wide, but there were some small riffles here and there and the occasional leaf pack.  To our surprise, we saw a fair number of insects including this casemaker which turned out to be Ironoquia punctatissima (Limnnephilidae).

Two things were clear from the very beginning in terms of key features: for one the case was rounded and slightly curved, seemingly made out of rows of pieces of bark, and secondly, the gill tufts were multi-branched.  Take a close look.

Leafing through Wiggins -- Glenn B. Wiggins, Larvae of the North American Caddisfly Genera (Trichoptera) -- I found what looked to be a pretty good match in the Limnephilidae genus, Ironoquia, so that's where I began. (pp. 249-249 in the 1977 edition)  On the genus morphology, Wiggins wrote the following things: "Ironoquia, one of four North American limnephilid genera in which most abdominal gills of the dorsal and ventral rows have more than four branches, is distinct from the others in having more than two (usually five) major setae along the ventral edge of the middle and hind femora.  Many metanotal setae arise from the integument between the primary sclerites.  Length of larva up to 22 mm."  All of this worked out to be perfectly true.  Here are the key microscope photos.  (And this larva was about 18 mm.)

For additional confirmation, we can look at what he says about the type of case and the habitat in which this genus is found.

"CASE  Two types of larval case are known.  In I. punctatissima and I. lyrata cases are made of bark and leaves, curved but little tapered; the case of I. parvula is made of sand grains." (p. 248)

"BIOLOGY Although North American larvae of the subfamily Dicosmoecinae are largely restricted to cool, running waters, species of Ironoquia are the sole exception, living in temporary pools and streams." (p. 248)

Beaty says much the same on the habitat of this genus: "Found in temporary streams as well as swamp streams." ("The Trichoptera of North Carolina," p. 82)  I have no problem thinking that this was a temporary stream, one that dries up in dry summers.

What about the species?  For this I had to turn to the new book by Morse, McCafferty, Stark, and Jacobus -- Larvae of the Southeastern USA: Mayfly, Stonefly, and Caddisfly Species (Clemson University, 2017).  They note, and illustrate, two possibilities: punctatissima and parvula. (pp. 392-393)  The difference between the two has to do with the head and nota.  For Ironoquia punctatissima -- "Head and nota pale with dark spots and infuscations" (p. 392): and for Ironoquia parvula -- "Head and thoracic nota dark with pale central stripe" (both types of head are illustrated on p. 393)  No doubt about it, we've got a head that is pale with dark spots.

Ironoquia punctatissima -- so much fun to finding something new.

We also found a mayfly that might be a new species for me -- Eurylophella funeralis.

But these little nymphs are hard to get down to the level of species.  To do that, we need a clear look at the abdominal tubercles, and the two nymphs we found yesterday were dirtied up with detritus.  (Sigh.  I wish someone made a tiny, tiny brush that we could use to clean these guys up!)  (:

In any event, we really enjoyed taking a look at this stream, and you can be sure we'll work on it more in the near future.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Photos from the South River and Entry Run

The weather was perfect yesterday so I headed up to Greene County to look for bugs in Entry Run and South River.  I wasn't disappointed.  On some of the rocks I turned over, there were 20-30 nymphs, both Epeorus pleuralis (Quill Gordons to fly fisherman) and Baetis tricaudatus small minnow mayflies.  It was really awesome.  It wasn't hard to get some pretty good photos.

1. Baetis tricaudatus, female, several shots including the one at the top of the page, and one with one nymph on its side and another on its back.

2. A flatheaded mayfly, Epeorus pleuralis.

3. A "common netspinner," Hydropsyche (C.) alhedra.  Remember that this netspinner species is very intolerant, rating 0.0 on a scale of 0-10.

and 4. A "free living" caddisfly larva, Rhyacophila fuscula, with a good look from the side and underneath.