Stoneflies have a lot in common with mayflies, caddisflies, dragonflies and dobsonflies: They begin life as aquatic larvae, then molt and become winged adults. Many fish find stoneflies irresistible, and anglers take advantage of it!
Adult stoneflies have two pairs of wings that are clear, membranous and finely veined. The wings rest closely down the back of the body, the forewings covering the hindwings. Antennae are threadlike and long.
Stonefly naiads are aquatic, flattened, with 6 sprawling legs and a segmented abdomen bearing 2 long, antenna-like "tails" (cerci). Gills are tuftlike and usually located at the leg bases, beneath the body.
There are several families of stoneflies in North America. Identifying the many species requires using a magnifying lens to note subtle details of anatomy. This individual is probably in the family Perlidae ("common stoneflies").
About 125 species in North America in the family Corixidae
Water boatmen are one of the few aquatic “true bugs” that are not predaceous and do not bite people. Instead, they suck juices from algae and detritus. Only a few species eat other small aquatic creatures. Learn more about these nifty water bugs.
Water striders and duckweed both live on the surface of water. Water striders have velvety body hairs that shed water and keep them dry. Meanwhile, a waxy coating on the top of duckweed fronds helps them shed water and stay afloat.
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