Sunday, April 5, 2015

Simply magnificent! A Clioperla clio from Entry Run

Pretty spectacular: the Perlodid stonefly, Clioperla clio, one that's almost fully mature.  One of the signs -- the large pale area at the front of the head is darkening and showing a pattern.

C. clio is an "early" Perlodid that we start to see in October, but it's in April that they get ready to hatch.   This one was from November, 2012.  Look at the difference in color in the central part of the head/face.

I have seen one with fully black wing pads that was clearly ready to go: that was in April, 2012.

But that was a beauty today.


And there was another Perlodid that was almost fully mature: an Isoperla similis with wing pads that are starting to darken.

The abdominal markings on I. similis and C. clio -- two dots on the left, two dots on the right, and a medial stripe with dots on each side -- are remarkably similar, and I posted an entry one time, wondering why C. clio isn't called I. clio.  As it turns out, it was once called Isoperla clio, but then the name was changed.  As I recall it has something to do with anatomical differences in the adults.

Entry Run and South River, like just about all of our streams at the moment, is loaded with insects.  Lots and lots of Isoperla montanas, but that's just the beginning.  Today I was finding the flatheaded nymphs Epeorus pleuralis all over the rocks -- lots of them are maturing as well.   There were also mature pronggilled mayflies like I saw at the Doyles, and lots of spiny crawlers -- both E. invaria and E. dorothea.  And there are still some "winter" small minnow mayflies around -- Baetis tricaudatus.

This is also a stream where I see quite a few free-living caddisfly larvae at this time of year, commonly Rhyacophila fuscula.    This one.

I  found one today that had recently molted: the head is lime green, not yet yellow.

One surprise.  I found two Rhyacophila carolina larvae.  This is the first time I've found that species in this particular stream.

The head is golden brown, lacks markings, and is rounded at the rear.

Good fun.  And it's so nice to see wildflowers filling the woods once again.  One of the first that we see in this part of the state is Bloodroot.

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