Thursday, April 18, 2013

More new species: up to the Doyles

This will have to be Part I. of this entry since I found three insects today that I need to ID.  This has been quite a week.  These are from the Doyles River.  My first stop was at my upper site, close to the border of the National Park; second stop -- Blufton Road.

1. The stonefly in the photo above is clearly an Isoperla Perlodid stonefly, the question is the matter of species.  It's another one that looks a bit like I . namata -- but it isn't the same.  It was small -- 8 mm -- with a dark pronotum and dark lateral longitudinal bands on the wing pads, no "dots" on the abdominal terga, and it was very hairy!  I've contacted Steven Beaty and hope to get back to you when I know more.

This is I. namata (about 10 mm):

And this is our new Isoperla:

2. I found a new free-living caddisfly larva -- a Rhyacophilid.  When I collected it, I thought it was R. carolina -- but it's not.  What is very pronounced on this one are the muscle scars on the back of the head and on the pronotum.  I think it might be Rhyacophila ledra.  More on this once I've heard something from Beaty.

3. I found two Uenoids at the upper Doyles site: I thought by now they'd all be sealed up in pupation.  But they look nothing like the Uenoids I've seen before.  I've got to get microscope photos and do more work, then I'll let you know my results.


Phew!  Microscope work coming tomorrow.  As for the insects I found that I already knew ---

1. A large, M. pudicum flatheaded mayfly that I think was getting ready to hatch -- literally.  Note the odd looking eyes, and note that the thorax appears to be splitting so the adult can emerge!

2. Some fairly mature Chloroperlids, genus Sweltsa

3. The Isoperla Perlodid that we commonly see in the spring, Isoperla holochlora.  Happy to see this one come back.

4. The small minnow mayfly Plauditus dubius -- mature male.  This is the first one I've seen this year.

5. And this stream, like Buck Mt. Creek, is full of E. dorothea spiny crawlers.  Pick up a leaf pack and watch them crawl.

Hope to be back tomorrow with information on the identity of the mystery insects.

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