Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Arthropods >>> Stonefly



Photo © by Laurie Nessel

This stonefly nymph is foraging in a garden of submerged algae and diatoms in the flowing waters of Fish Creek, Superstition Mountains, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. 01 Feb. 2009. The photo was taken by Laurie Nessel.

Plecoptera -- Stonefly Order

The wing buds visible on the nymph (immature) stonefly at left will become functional flight wings at the final moult when the insect becomes a flying, terrestrial arthropod in a few weeks. The net-like wings of adults are delicate and partially folded. The adults rarely fly far from the watery world of their youth and trout fisherman know the adults well because they are models for artificial flies.

The plecoptera, survivors from the Carboniferous Period, 300 million years ago, are nonetheless, very sensitive to environmental pollution. Human activity has adversely impacted water sources in the Sonoran Desert - the remaining, clean and reliable riparian streams are a natural resource that should be protected from over use and pollutants.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009


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