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Green-Winged Stoneflies (Isoperlinae) ? - Perlesta - male - female

Green-Winged Stoneflies (Isoperlinae) ? - Perlesta - Male Female
Apison, Hamilton County, Tennessee, USA
June 13, 2008
Size: roughly around 1cm ??
Found on a window after dark.

Moved from Stoneflies.

would seem to be the best placement for these. They could be P. placida, but this genus is very confusing. It has grown from a very few species to many in a short time. Most of the species are very similar and they appear to show a high degree of variability, especially in the darkness of the wings and the color/markings of the head and pronotum.

Good Question
Although these do look very much like Isoperlinae, there is a common small perlid, Perlesta placida, that I believe looks just like this. It would be nice if you could get David Funk to look at these--it was his photo and ID (elsewhere) that led me to assume that the little stones I see around now on a local water were P. placida. (I never keyed them out--my bad.)

By the way, I know they still use "Green-Winged Stoneflies" here, but it strikes me as an anachronistic term. As far as I know, there aren't any green-winged stoneflies in the Perlodidae. (I could be wrong, but I believe they were all split off into the Chloroperlidae.) Many have now adopted the newer names proposed by Stark, et al. They call the Perlodinae "Springflies" and the Isoperlinae "Stripetails." Doesn't that make more sense?

OK, you don't have to answer that--just musing on your time. Sorry.


OK Lloyd,
we have moved all the stoneflies you commented on to their family, genus or species page (and we renamed the Isoperlinae to Stripetails!) There are still some 20 images on the base Plecoptera page here either because you want a second opinion, or because you have not yet commented. We'll check out some of the family pages to see if you have left any comments on those next. Thanks for all this work!

Thank you!
John and Jane,

I have the time right now, and I'm very happy to help as much as I can. I try to be as careful as I know how when I comment, to the point that I have sometimes understated my certainty about some of the specimens. I hate to have anything rest on my opinion alone, and it would be really nice to have confirming (or contradicting) opinions.

As for the common name issue, just the other day I noticed that you had two sets of common names on the page that outlines the stonefly families. As I recall, the second set was described as "fly-fishing" names. That's not really the case. Most fly fishers hate to learn new names, common or scientific, and that's what these are. I believe the stonefly names were proposed by Bill Stark, et al. in their 1998 publication Common Names of Stoneflies (Plecoptera) from the United States and Canada. I haven't read it, but it seems that those names (which include related names for species) are being rapidly adopted as more or less "official" common names.

I'm sure that part of what motivated the work involved problems just like the "Green-Winged Stonefly" issue that result from classification revisions over time. I also suspect that the other problem was that the only common names that were used with any regularity were, in fact, fly-fishing names. Fly fishers are notorious for only paying as much attention to taxonomy as seems absolutely necessary in order to catch fish, which is not much at all. For example, it wasn't that long ago that many Michigan fly fishers were still referring to a large burrowing mayfly, Hexagenia limbata, as the "Michigan Caddis."

I could give you a list of the fly-fishing names, some of which are really quite beautiful and creative, but that would seem to be a bit regressive. My vote is to adopt the Stark names for use here--they are descriptive and practical. Now, if I could just get fly fishers to do the same....Nevermind, that's not going to happen. :)

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