Friday, April 24, 2015

Photos from the Rapidan River: Beautiful insects, many mature

The water was high at the Rapidan River this morning, and I had to focus on rocks and leaf packs in close to shore.  But, I didn't have to work hard to find insects.  As I found the last time I was here, the leaf packs are crawling with Isoperla montana/whatever nymphs at the moment, but I saw tons of nymphs -- well, you know what I mean -- with large, tan wing pads, the color and form they assume before turning black.

I do not have new insects that I have to ID, so I'll focus on photos today, and we'll start with that beauty at the top of the page.

1.  Northern case-maker caddisfly larva, Pycnopsyche scabripennis.   First of the season.  This is a sizeable larva -- 20-25 mm --and the case is longer.  I've seen quite a few in the Rapidan River: every case is unique.

2. Perlodid stonefly, Isoperla nr. holochlora.   No change in the name.  It's still "close to" (nr.) Isoperla holochlora but not quite the same.  Not sure if Beaty is rearing this one this year, but I'm sure it's on his agenda.

3. Isoperla montana group.

a) with tan wing pads

b) darkening wing pads

c) dark wing pads angling away from the body.  (I assume this means that the nymph is in the process of hatching.  Need to check this with Beaty.)

4. Perlodid stonefly, Diploperla duplicata: 13mm.  Note that the wings are turning black on the edges.

5. Giant stonefly, Pteronarcys proteus: 33 mm.  Same comment: the wing pads are turning black on the edges.

6. And, a flatheaded mayfly, Maccaffertium pudicum.  Black wing pads, ready to hatch.


Sometimes I wonder why I go anywhere else.

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