Saturday, March 1, 2014

Malirekus hastatus: back to Sugar Hollow

As I sit here posting this entry, the sun fills the sky.  But when I was searching the stream and taking my photos -- nothing but clouds.  Frustrating.

Back to Sugar Hollow this morning.  Another small, headwater stream to which I've gone just a few times before.

For the most part I saw what I expected to see: large winter stoneflies, Taenionema atlanticum; lots of Epeorus pleuralis flatheads on the bottoms of rocks; some Ameletid mayflies; one or two Chloroperlids (Green stoneflies); and a lot of Uenoids.  Oh, and there was one Leucrocuta flatheaded mayfly -- L. juno I think -- which would have made a nice picture.  But that nasty Perlodid stonefly at the top of the page decided to eat it for breakfast!  (It also dispatched my T. atlanticum large winter stone, one with black-tipped wing pads.)

Malirekus hastatus, tolerance value 1.0.  (For the details on species ID, see the posting of 1/21/12.)  I see them in almost all of the streams in this valley, and as you can tell from the spread of the back wing pads, this one is fairly mature.  Beaty gives a range of 15-19 mm for this species ("The Plecoptera of North Carolina," p. 26).  At 17 mm, this one was right in the middle.  They're beautiful nymphs, but I wish they'd leave my other insects alone.


I kept just three Uenoids for identification: turned out to be N. aniqua and N. mitchelli.  They're fairly common out here when you get into the very good water in the small streams.

N. mitchelli:

N. aniqua:


Still freezing cold early this morning, so I didn't head up to the top of this stream.  Next time.

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