Saturday, January 17, 2015

At high elevation, some very small Uenoids -- Neophylax aniqua

Back to that pristine small stream in Sugar Hollow where we keep climbing higher, hoping to find two uncommon Uenoids: N. ornatus and N. atlanta.   And I picked up a bunch of tiny Uenoids -- all of which turned out to be N. aniqua.  This is a species that is sometimes found with N. ornatus, so we're looking in the right places.  "Neophylax aniqua usually occupies the most upstream position in the longitudinal sequence of species in streams where it occurs.  Larvae of N. aniqua occasionally occur together with larvae of N. concinnus or N. ornatus but are segregated from them by differences in periods of maximum larval growth and adult emergence."  ( R. N. Vineyard,, The Caddisfly Genus Neophylax, p. 43.)

A key feature of N. aniqua -- the stout, semi-blunt frontoclypeal tubercle can be seen even on this very small larva (4 mm).

And a second larva.  Pretty cases.

And I continue to look for our "single gill" Peltoperlid species -- Viehoperla -- but I struck out there as well.  If you look closely you can see the two gills sticking out below the hind wing pad.  This was Tallaperla.

We saw a lot of the "headwater" stream flatheaded mayfly -- Maccaffertium meririvulanum.

And we continued to pick up a lot of small Pycnopsyche gentilis (Northern case-makers) in their 3-sided cases made out of pieces of leaves.  Very young.  The heads will turn orange as they mature.  (This one might have recently molted.)

But there was one surprise.  I picked up a small piece of bark on which I found two "strong case-makers" (Odontoceridae).  I was very excited.  My friend has found Psilotreta rufa up here, a species I've never seen.  But alas, these cases were already sealed for pupation.


Next stop -- the Rapidan River.  Just need another sunny warm day.

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