Thursday, August 13, 2015

But a few nice photos -- up to the Rapidan River

It's not the best time of year for finding nice insects in Virginia.  Still, I could not not go some place this morning: low humidity and bright blue skies.  So I drove up to the Rapidan River.

In the photos above, a mature small minnow mayfly -- Baetis intercalaris.  Note the pale parentheses marks ( ) on the tergites, one of the keys to identification.  It's one of several small minnows we see in the summer.  All of them hatch in the fall as Blue-winged Olives (BWO's), a hatch that makes for very good fishing.

And here,

that beautiful stonefly, Paragnetina immarginata.  This nymph was around an inch long, and it's still immature.  It will hatch out next summer -- the Golden Stone.

The most prolific insect today?  The "humpless case-maker" Brachycentrus appalachia.   There were literally hundreds of cases attached to the rocks.  One rock alone must have had 100 cases.

But it was one of those days when "the good one got away."  I picked up a nymph that I know was a Perlodid stonefly, but it got out of my bowl on my way back to the car.   Perlodid stoneflies are not at all common in summer months, so I'd sure like to know what it was.  Bummer!

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