Sunday, December 1, 2013

Goera country: "weighted case-makers" in Entry Run and the first spiny crawler of the season

I went up to Greene County this morning to see if I could find another Goera: obviously I did.   Like those that I found here on 10/26, this one was Goera fuscula.  "G. fuscula -- larvae 9-11 mm; 4 -pairs of sclerites on metanotum; sternal thoracic plates distinct; face with central area smooth; posterior carina sharp and high." (Beaty, "The Trichoptera of North Carolina," p. 87)

 This larva was 11 mm, and the "face" surrounded by the carina showed up pretty well in one of my photos.

The Goeras I'm finding are all in small head-water streams in the mountains, streams like Entry Run, which in the photo below flows into South River.  Goera country.

Keep in mind that Beaty regards G. fuscula as "rare," so it's always a pleasure to see it.

My other findings this morning were pretty much what we're expecting to see at this time of year: large winter stoneflies (Taeniopteryx burksi/maura); Chloroperlids (Green stoneflies); pronggilled mayflies (genus Paraleptophlebia -- that's one on the rear of the case in the photos above); Giant stoneflies (P. proteus); Common stoneflies (A. abnormis and A. carolinensis); and some flatheaded mayflies, including some tiny Epeorus pleuralis.   But there was a surprise ...

a spiny crawler nymph, number one of the new season!  On examination, this turned out to be Ephemerella invaria, the species with "paired submedian tubercles on segments 3-8" (Beaty, "The Ephemeroptera of North Carolina," p. 27).   E. invaria nymphs commonly have a "pale transverse stripe between [the] eyes" (Beaty) which I think you can see if you look closely at the photos below.

They're not very colorful at this stage of the game -- but that will change as we move into late winter.

Other photos:

1. Giant stonefly, Pteronarcys proteus.  Estimated size, 30-40 mm.  Big!

2. Flatheaded mayfly, Maccaffertium merririvulanum, another insect that we only find in head-water streams.

3. And a miserable, miserable common stonefly, Acroneuria carolinensis.  I don't want to tell you how long I waited for this critter to stop moving around in the tray!  This is the best I could do.


Driving up South River valley on my way to Entry Run.  Very pleasant day.

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