Friday, May 10, 2013

Speaking of Isoperlas we've not yet identified to the level of species....

this is another one, and I found a lot of these nymphs this morning.  It's an odd color for Isoperla -- light brown, with a pronounced pale spot in the ocellar triangle, and the abdominal stripes are not all that easy to see (especially the lateral stripes).

We found this species last year -- even in 2011 -- and in May of 2011 I sent some to Steven Beaty to help with ID.  His reply was "species unknown."  Were we to raise these to maturity in a lab setting, we might find that it is a known species as an adult -- but the association with this particular nymph has not yet been made.  I took photos of three of the nymphs that I collected this morning: two were fairly mature, the other still small.


And where do I find this Isoperla?  In the small headwater streams in Sugar Hollow.  I've never seen it anywhere else.  And, there was no place else that I could go to this morning.  We had 3-4 inches of rain this week, and all of our streams are running high and off-color.  Even this stream -- and I was up pretty high -- was as high and fast as I've ever seen it, but the water was clear.

Pretty special spot.  I worked my way up close to that waterfall -- while I kept an eye out for bears!  Plenty of them around at this time of year in these mountains.

Other findings this morning --

1. I also saw a lot of Isoperla holochlora Perlodid stoneflies: it's their time of year.

2. And of course I saw some spiny crawlers.  This one was E. dorothea (male).

3. And to my surprise, there are still some Uenoids at this elevation that have not yet entered pupation.  This one turned out to be Neophylax mitchelli.

(Can't say that I'm very pleased with those photos.)

What I did not find this morning is another Isoperla I've seen in this stream -- a real beauty --another Isoperla that Beaty says at the moment can't be ID'd to the level of species.  I have a feeling that these nymphs are not all that common.  I've only seen two in three seasons of looking.

Maybe next time.

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