Monday, January 5, 2015

Back to the land of the Theliopsyche -- but no luck this morning

Having found a Theliopsyche Lepidostomatid (Bizarre Caddisfly) two weeks ago (see the entries for 12/19 and 12/21) which was not in the right case, I'm now determined to find one where it belongs ("Case: composed of sand grains, curved and slightly tapered" -- Beaty, "The Trichoptera of North Carolina," p. 81).  So this morning, the search was on in that small stream in Sugar Hollow: back to the scene of the crime.

I found two likely suspects: the one in the photo at the top of the page,

and this one.

That second case seemed to hold a whole lot of promise.  But alas, both larvae turned out to be genus Lepidostoma.  (For the difference between the genera, see the entry of 12/21.)  In fact that slightly curved case is being converted from a case made of sand to one made of "quadrate pieces of plant material" (Beaty, p. 81).

In time, it will probably look something like this.


Still, there were other nice insects to find.

1. A young flatheaded mayfly, Maccaffertium meririvulanum.  Tolerance value, a mere 0.5, but it's only found in these small, pristine mountain streams.  I picked up three or four in the leaves.

The key to identification is the "V's" on terga 5, and 7-9.  (Beaty, "The Ephemeroptera of North Carolina," p. 19)

2. And a young Northern case-maker, Pycnopsyche gentilis, the one that makes a three-sided case out of pieces of leaves and/or bark.

We see a lot of these small cases that are abandoned.  Apparently the larvae build new cases as they mature and out-grow the old ones.

Back to the hunt when the weather warms up.  And there are other small streams to explore.

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