Sunday, December 7, 2014

No unusual insects -- but a very special stream

Sugar Hollow: one of the small streams I've explored -- but one that I've been to only two or three times.  It remains the only stream in which I've found the small winter stonefly, Paracapnia angulata.  It cuts a deep defile as it cascades down the side of the mountain, leaving lots of boulders on both sides of the stream.

(That photo almost cost me $600.00: I dropped my iphone into the water right after this shot!  It seems to be okay.  Close call.)

It was no surprise to find lots of Roach-like stoneflies (in the picture at the top of the page) in the leaf packs.  They're common all winter in these small mountain streams.  I don't usually keep them for photos, but I continue to look for a genus I know to be here -- my friend has found it -- one that I still haven't seen: Viehoperla.  It's one that, according to Beaty, "Occurs in undisturbed, small, cold the Mountains from spring through early fall,"  but it's "rarely collected" ("The Plecoptera of North Carolina," p. 13).  It differs from Tallaperla and Peltoperla (both of them common out here) in that the "thoracic gills [are] single." (Beaty, p. 13)

This one appears to be Tallaperla -- the thoracic gills are double.


Still common on tops of the rocks in still water pools -- "Weighted-case makers" -- Goera calcarata.  I photographed two that had very nice cases.

A nice view of the sharp point of the anterolateral projections of the pronotum, and a good look at the mesonotal anterolateral projections.


Lots of common stoneflies around: Acroneuria abnormis and Eccoptura xanthenses and a couple of Leuctrids -- but still too early to find the Paracapnia small winters.  Back in January for that.

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