Monday, January 21, 2013

Whoops! Make that Neophylax mitchelli, not Neophylax ornatus

I hate making mistakes -- but I've done it again.  Then again, making mistakes is often the way that we learn.  The Uenoid that was featured in the previous entry was Neophylax mitchelli, not Neophylax ornatus.

This morning I returned to Sugar Hollow and went to my upstream site on one of my favorites streams.  I again found two different Uenoids -- among other things -- including the one in the picture above and the pictures below.

When I saw this in my microscope when I got home, I said "Aha!" another N. ornatus.  The face was yellow to brown, it had clavate gills, and there were muscle scars at the back of the head.  But then I noticed a problem -- it had a tubercle on its head.  Look again at our second photo:

Neophylax ornatus does not have a median frontoclypeal tubercle, but N. mitchelli does.  It has a tubercle that's thin and pointed and one on which the tip points back to the rear.    Let me show you some photos on which I hope that feature is clear.  (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

I wish those photos were better -- but that's the best I could do.   This larva -- and the one that I found on Saturday -- is Neophylax mitchelli.  On N. mitchelli, Beaty ("The Trichoptera of North Carolina,"  p. 87) has the following things to say.

N. mitchelli -- well developed clavate ventral gill on abdominal segment 1; long pointed tubercle on head, usually directed somewhat posteriorly.  Case often smaller and more fragile than other Neophylax species.  Mountains only.  Common.

In the following photo, you can see the clavate ventral gills (at the least the one to the left), and get another glimpse of the tubercle on the head.

So, the Uenoids I'm finding at high elevation in the Blue Ridge are N. mitchelli and N. aniqua.

I'll post a complete report on today's trip in an entry tomorrow.  I found all sorts of things in this wonderful stream, including another N. aniqua, and my first Limnephilid (Northern case-maker) of the season: Pycnopsyche gentilis, the one that makes the three-sided case out of pieces of leaves.

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