Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yet another small stream in Sugar Hollow

Love that case.  Uenoid caddisfly larva, Neophylax aniqua.

This morning, my friend in Sugar Hollow took me to yet another new stream -- or rather, a new section of a stream to which we've gone before.  We decided to go further upstream -- despite the risk of seeing some bears!  At the moment, we're seeing pretty much the same insects in all of these small mountain streams, and as I found out on Monday, it's rare that you turn over a rock without seeing a bunch of flatheaded mayflies, Epeorus pleuralis.  Some photos of these later on, but let's begin with the Uenoids since I found three different species today.

1. Neophylax aniqua.  Remember that we ID this one by looking for two different things: a short, blunt tubercle on the head, and a lack of clavate ventral gills on segment one.  We actually see the short tubercle in this photo.

I loved the case with that very large pebble on the left side.

Uenoid cases vary from stream to stream -- and from larva to larva -- since they make use of the materials they find at hand.  I was reminded of this yesterday when a friend sent me a link to an article on the work of French artist Hubert Duprat.  Duprat has removed caddis larvae from their cases and put them into a tank with pieces of gold and various jewels.  The new cases they make are really something to see.  (See

2. Neophylax mitchelli.

A good chance to see just how varied those cases can be.  I was starting to think that N. mitchelli cases were mostly tubelike, sort of boring, but I was wrong.  N. mitchelli larvae have long, pointed tubercles on their heads, and they have clavate gills.  Also note how much lighter in color the legs are vs. those of N. aniqua.

The tubercle is easy to see on this one,

but it's not so clear on the others that I collected -- all of which were very small.

3. Neophylax consimillis.

This was the largest of the Uenoids I found, and what gives this one away is the pale spot/stripe in the center of the head.


And now for the rest.  First, let's have a look at some of those E. pleuralis nymphs that are clogging up these streams at the moment.  Three different colors; three different sizes, going from the most to the least mature.





Three more photos.

1. Small minnow mayfly, Baetis tricaudatus.  They were plentiful but immature.

2. Rolled-winged stonefly, genus Leuctra.

3. And an Ameletid mayfly, Ameletus lineatus.  These were also fairly common.


No comments:

Post a Comment