Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mature insects galore in Sugar Hollow


It's that time of year when this season's "crop" of mayflies and stoneflies is about to take wing.  And I found a lot of nymphs that will probably hatch later today.  Black wingpads.


This one -- the flatheaded mayfly Epeorus pleuralis.  Many, if not most, of them have hatched in April and May, but there are still some hangers-on.   11 mm.


And this is the spiny crawler, Ephemerella dorothea.  Our streams have been clogged with them throughout the spring.  Personally, I'm glad to see them go (sorry!).  Of the many that I saw this morning, this is the only one that was fully mature.

Lots and lots of the small minnow mayfly, Baetis tricaudatus, and four of those in my tray were also decked out in black wingpads.  Unfortunately, on this gray cloudy morning, the photos I took weren't really worth posting.


And then there was this fully mature "common" stonefly, Acroneuria abnormis.  I think this is the first time I've seen one of these nymphs with black wingpads.  That's pretty amazing.  I suspect that this was a male: it was only 17 mm.  This A. abnormis nymph, on the other hand, was 25 mm and as you can see, it's not quite ready to go.



Remember that the Perlids ("common" stoneflies) hatch in June and July as Golden Stones, at least the group that's maturing this year.
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Good weather next week, or so they're saying right now.  So I'll be out in pursuit of yet another nymph that should be mature -- Isoperla sp. VA.

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