Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Low Water in the Small Streams in Sugar Hollow = Tough Conditions

True, it was only 33 degrees this morning when I got to the stream -- but cold fingers go along with the hobby.  Water is low in the small streams I explore in Sugar Hollow: it's been a long time since we've had significant rain.  On top of that, the leaves have really come down, so even where the water is running, it's virtually covered.  I'm not finding insects in the quantity I might otherwise see.

As I did on November the 3rd (same stream), I continued to find Goerids, and as before, they were Goera calcarata.  Distinguishing features -- 1) 3 pairs of sclerites on the metanotum

and 2) no thoracic sternal plates.

Last year I was quite sure that no Goerids lived in this stream, but now that I know what to look for they're easy to see.    The cases give them away, having 2 large ballast stones on each side, and if you get a close-up view of the head, you'll see the anterolateral projections that stick out from the mesonotum.

Species identification, however, requires preserving the larva to check for the sternal plates and the sclerites on the metanotum.  Bummer!

Other insects this morning...

1. I continue to find the Perlodid stonefly, Malirekus hastatus, in fact it's the only Perlodid stonefly I've seen so far in these streams.  That's a surprise.

2. And this is an excellent stream for the Giants -- Pteronarcys proteus.  Some of them now are quite large.  Note how the rear wing pads spread out.  This was around 40 mm, maybe a little big longer.  Magnificent critter!

3. And on the bottoms of rocks, there are plenty of flatheaded mayflies, some look to be Epeorus pleuralis -- I'll have to check that -- others, Maccaffertium merririvulanum.  (Note the "V"s on segments 7-9.)

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