Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Chloroplerlid (Green Stonefly) Season Begins at the Rapidan River

It's been a long day.  I went up to the Rapidan River this morning, collected some very nice insects, got set up to begin taking photos -- then discovered that I had left my "macro" lens back home!   So I had to transport some insects to C'ville before I could get any pictures.  The lens I had with me was the "standard issue" Canon lens -- 18-55 mm Zoom.  From now on, I'll be taking all of my lenses when I go to a stream.

I did have a couple of insects for which I did not need the macro magnification.  A beautiful Paragnetina immarginata common stonefly, and a fairly large Giant stonefly -- Pteronarcys biloba (with a smallish Peltoperlid on its back).

But the find of the day was the Chloroperlid in the photo at the top of the page, the first of the new season.  The genus I'm quite sure is Sweltsa.  These are stoneflies that takes a long time to develop: we'll be seeing them all winter long.  The one below was fairly mature -- it was collected on April 11!

The one I found today was a mere 4 mm long: it has a long way to go.  At the moment, the wing pads don't have much shape.

I found two other taxa that we'll be seeing all winter -- the pronggilled mayfly, Paraleptophlebia, and the Roach-like stonefly -- Peltoperlidae -- genus Tallaperla.

(The netspinner in the picture is a genus Cheumatopsyche.)  Oh.  One other "new" find of the season -- the flatheaded mayfly, Maccaffertium pudicum.  It's one of the biggest flatheads we see, and the biggest flathead I've seen in a very long time.


For the rest -- they were all insects we've been tracking through the summer and fall.

1. Small minnow mayfly, Acentrella nadineae.

2. Small minnow mayfly, Baetis intercalaris.  Two males, both mature, but two that looked nothing alike.

3. Common netspinner, Ceratopsyche bronta -- the pattern is unmistakable.

4. Common netspinner, Ceratopsyche slossonae.

5. Common netspinner, Ceratopsyche morosa (bifida form).  The "checkerboard" pattern of 5 pale dots on the top of the head is not really clear in these photos.

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