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Family Perlidae - Common Stoneflies

A Stonefly Embossed Stone - Paragnetina media Nymphal Shell - Calineuria californica Perlesta sp. ? - Neoperla Agnetina capitata Insect Golden Stonefly - Hesperoperla pacifica stonefly - Perlesta
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Plecoptera (Stoneflies)
Superfamily Perloidea
Family Perlidae (Common Stoneflies)
Other Common Names
Golden Stoneflies, Golden Stones
world's largest stonefly family (fifth largest in our area): 2 subfamilies with 84 spp. in 15 genera in our area(1) [74 in the lower 48 states(2)] and almost 1000 spp. in 52 genera worldwide(3)
adult length 9-40 mm
Adult: variably yellowish to brownish (but not green); anal area of forewing lacks rows of cross veins; ventral surface of thorax with remnants of branched nymphal gills, usually immediately behind bases of legs
Nymph: yellowish to brown with prominent dark pattern on dorsal surface of head and thorax; thoracic segments wider than long, and legs thick, giving a stout-bodied robust appearance; ventral thoracic gills profusely branched; paraglossae extend beyond glossae
"A close-up view of the tip of the abdomen is often the best way to determine genus (and perhaps species). A dorsal view of the terminalia is probably best for males, and a ventral view of the last few abdominal segments is best for females." --Lloyd Gonzales
worldwide (except Australia & parts of Africa); throughout NA(3)
nymphs often under large stones in streams and rivers
adults emerge in spring and present April to September
nymphs prey mainly on small aquatic invertebrates; may eat detritus and algae; adults do not feed
See Also
Adult Pteronarcyidae have two or more cross veins in anal area of forewing, and nymphs have gills on first two abdominal segments as well as thoracic gills. Nymphs of Chloroperlidae and Perlodidae have thoracic gills (single or double) not profusely branched.