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," [http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=5b6de50a-8f28-42b7-83a2-0e41c7019929&groupId=38364]. 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!