Thursday, January 15, 2015

But I do get to see some beautiful streams

I went exploring this morning.  This is a small stream in Patricia Byrom Park, not too far from the parking lot.  It's always looked inviting to me.   It was cold -- 29º -- but the sun was out and the wind was down, so it was time to give it a try.  I can't say I found anything unexpected for this kind of stream at this time of year -- Uenoids, Lepidostomatids, the occasional Eccoptura stonefly, and a few Ameletids -- but there are times when just being alone in this kind of place, with this kind of water, makes for a very nice day.

A few pictures.

1. An Ameletid mayfly, one of several I found on the bottoms of rocks.  You know it's winter, and you know you're in a high quality stream, when you find Ameletids, especially this species -- Ameletus cryptostimulus.

(Since it's been awhile since this has been noted, for a thorough description of mayflies in the southeast, see Beaty, Walters, and Holland, "The Ephemeroptera of North Carolina," [].  Ameletus species are described on p. 1.)

2. A "weighted-case maker" -- and the one that's felt to be "rare" -- Goera fuscula.  This is the one that I see at Entry Run in Greene County.


3. And of all the Lepidostomatids I saw -- and there were a lot of small ones still in sand cases -- the one with the nicest case wasn't home!  I wasn't sure of that when I was taking these pictures.  But what a beautiful case.


4. Oh yes, there was a Uenoid, but my photos didn't turn out all that well.  It appeared to be Neophylax aniqua.

Note the semi-blunt frontoclypeal tubercle.


The very best stream in this park requires a 1.5 mile hike, pretty steeply uphill.  I'll be heading up there in the spring when the insects will be more mature -- and the temperatures a little bit warmer!

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