Thursday, August 20, 2015

The "best of the best": looking at photos

I've been putting together PowerPoint presentations of the mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies that I've found, trying to use the best photos I've taken of every species.  They're organized by order, family, and species.  Yesterday, I updated those files, and I was once again struck by a handful of pictures of which I'm especially proud.  The colors are vibrant, the patterns distinct, and the detail is focussed and sharp.  While all of those photos and more have been posted on Flickr (, "Personal Favorites"), I thought I might pick out the best of the best for this entry.

1. In the photo at the top of the page, the large winter stonefly, Taeniopteryx burksi/maura.  They're common in most of our streams in December, January, and February.  This one, as I recall, was found in South River up in Greene County.

2. Another large winter stonefly, Taenionema atlanticum.

This is an intolerant insect that we only find in very good streams, for the most part streams that are small.

3.  A Perlodid stonefly, one of my favorites, Isogenoides hansoni.

This is a species I've only seen at the Rapidan River.  Fairly uncommon.  What a gorgeous nymph!

4. Some small minnow mayflies, starting with one that is especially colorful: Acentrella nadineae.

We know it's a male by the large eyes.

5. From the late summer/early fall -- Heterocloen petersi.  Rarely seen: in the Rivanna.

6. One from the winter -- Heterocloen amplum.

7. And another H. amplum, a male that's fully mature.

8.  A spiny crawler nymph -- Ephemerella subvaria.  Another species that's fairly uncommon, and another species that I've only seen at the Rapidan River.  Two photos.

9. And a different mayfly, the pronggilled mayfly, genus Leptophlebia.  Found this one at my upper site on the Doyles.


10. Some case-makers, beginning with the "weighted case-maker," Goera calcarata.

Most Goerids make cases with two large stones on each side, not the four we see with this larva.

11.  Two case-makers stacked up together.  On the top, the "humpless case-maker," Brachycentrus appalachia; on the bottom the "little mountain case-maker," Apatania incerta.

Provenance -- the Rapidan River.

12. And a "northern case-maker," Pycnopsyche scabripennis.  Also found at the Rapidan.


13.  I'll  finish up with some more stoneflies.  This is a small winter stonefly, Allocapnia pygmaea.

They're prolific in the winter in Buck Mt. Creek.  They're tiny, and it's not easy to get a photo that's sharp.

14.  The Perlodid stonefly, Isoperla holochlora, "I. holochlora -- dark form."

15. The Perlodid, Isoperla kirchneri complex (kirchneri, montana, siouan, or tutelo).

16. Another Perlodid, Malirekus hastatus.  These are fairly common in the winter and spring in the head water streams in Sugar Hollow.

17.  And the common stonefly (Perlidae) -- a large one -- Paragnetina immarginata.  Rapidan River.


 Warm and sunny this weekend with tolerable humidity levels.  Tomorrow, I hope to look at Entry Run and South River.

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