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Plecoptera: Perlodidae of Gunnison County, Colorado

Introduction to Isoperla
Stripetails, Yellow Sallies, Green-winged stoneflies

Banks 1906
Updated 2 Nov 2016
TSN 102995
Isoperla nymph from a small spring fed stream on the flank of Gothic Mountain, Elk Mountains, Colorado

Provisional Species List

Isoperla fulva
Isoperla longiseta
Isoperla mormona
Isoperla pinta
Isoperla quinquepunctata
Isoperla sobria

Notes

A key for Isoperla nymphs has not been developed yet.

Good Links

On this website:
Perlodidae Introduction
Isoperla phalerata

Other Websites:
Illustration - from the University of Alberta Entomology Collection
     Has illustration of male genitalia, description, habitat information, range and more.

Photos - from Troutnut.com

Pesticides database - from the Pesticide Action Network (PAN)

References

Baumann, RW Gaufin, AR, Surdick, RF 1977 The stoneflies (Plecoptera) of the Rocky Mountains. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 31, 1-208.
     Quote from page 135: "The two subfamilies of Perlodidae are often difficult to separate, except on the basis of male genitalia. Isoperlinae exhibits a loss of the epiproct and the lobe on the seventh sternum, a retention of the lobe on the eighth sternum, and a modification of the subanal lobes into hooks (figs. 417, 419). Gills and gill remnants are always lacking in the Isoperlinae, but are retained as simple filaments in some representatives of the Perlodinae. A transverse ridge and posterior junction of the Y-ridges to the furcal pits charaterize the typical mesosternal ridge pattern of adults and immatures (figs. 24, 25). Adults of the subfamily are yellow or brown colored and generally smaller than their Perlodinae counterparts. Nymphs are often brightly striped in brown and yellow. Nymphal abdominal color patterns, adult genitalia and setal patterns are used to differentiate species. Isoperla is the only genus of Isoperlinae recorded from the Rocky Mountains."

DeWalt,RE and Stewart,KW 1995 Life histories of stoneflies (Plecoptera) in the Rio Conejos of southern Colorado. Great Basin Naturalist 55, 1-18.

DeWalt,RE; Stewart,KW; Moulton,SR; Kennedy,JH 1994 Summer emergence of mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies from a Colorado mountain stream. Southwestern Naturalist 39 3, 249-256.

Dodds GS and Hisaw FL. 1925 Ecological studies on aquatic insects. IV. Altitudinal range and zonation of mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies in the Colorado Rockies. Ecology 6(4)380-390. Abstract PDF

Fuller,RL and Stewart,KW 1977 The food habits of stoneflies (Plecoptera) in the Upper Gunnison River, Colorado. Environmental Entomology 6, 293-302.

Peckarsky,BL 1986 Colonization of natural substrates by stream benthos. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 43, 700-709.

Rader RB; Ward JV. 1988 Influence of regulation on environmental conditions and the macroinvertebrate community in the upper Colorado River. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 2:597-618. PDF
     Quote from page 611: "The reference site was represented by a diverse fauna of stoneflies (approximately fiften species) with similar relative abundances. However, only rare individuals of Amphinemura banski), two chloroperlid, and three isoperlid species represented the stonefly taxa at the regulated site. A general reduction in stoneflies and the occasional appearance of Amphinemura and Isoperla is common below dams in Colorado (Ward and Short, 1978; Zimmerman and Ward, 1984). Eight stonefly species were collected at the recovery site; however, only two (Amphinemura banski and Pteronarcella badia) were consistently represented in samples."

Richardson,JW and Gaufin,AR 1971 Food habits of some western stonefly nymphs. Transactions of American Entomological Society 97, 91-121.

Robinson,CT and Minshall,GW 1986 Effects of disturbance frequency on stream benthic community structure in relation to canopy cover and season. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 237-248. PDF
     Abstract: " Field experiments were conducted to examine the effects of disturbance frequency on invertebrates and periphyton colonizing bricks in a third order Rocky Mountain (USA) stream. After an initial colonization period (30 days), sets of bricks were turned over at intervals of 0, 3, 9, 27, or 54 days. Invertebrate species richness and density were reduced as disturbance frequency increased. These trends were evident for both seasons (summer and fall) and sites (open vs. closed canopy). Invertebrate species diversity (H') displayed no effect during the fall experiment; however, H' was reduced at high frequencies of disturbance during the summer experiment. Baetis tricaudatus was the most abundant invertebrate on the substrata at both sites and seasons. Alloperla, Baetis, Cinygmula, Chironomidae, Drunella grandis, Hydropsyche, and Seratella tibialis increased in absolute abundances as disturbance frequency decreased. Four other abundant taxa (Capnia, Cleptelmis, Glossosoma, and Isoperla) displayed no clear response to disturbance in either absolute or relative abundances. Species in low abundance tended to colonize only the less frequently disturbed bricks. During both seasons, periphyton biomass increased as disturbance frequency decreased at the open canopy site, while no trend was apparent at the closed canopy site. Periphyton accumulation monitored over time and among treatments revealed that frequent disturbances maintained low standing crops at an open canopy site. These data suggest that disturbance frequency can directly influence the benthic community at the scale of individual rock "islands" by reducing invertebrate richness, total animal density, and periphyton biomass. The effect of disturbance on species diversity (H') was seasonal, further emphasizing the importance of considering seasonality in stream field studies. "

Roline,R 1988 The effects of heavy metals pollution of the upper Arkansas River on the distribution of aquatic macroinvertebrates. Hydrobiologia 160: 3-8.
     They sampled the Arkansas River upstream and downstream of mine drainage and clean water inputs in 1979 and 1980. After compositing 3 surber samplers in the field, they identified the macroinvertebrates to genus level and used a diversity index to evaluate the health of the macroinvertebrate community. Higher diversity is better. Diversity decreased downstream of heavy metal pollution from the Leadville Drain and California Gulch and increased downstream of clean water inputs.
Quote from page 8: "The plecopterans, Alloperla and Isoperla, were collected at all stations, showing a relative tolerance to heavy metals pollution. "


Sandberg,JB 2011 Vibrational communication of Isoperla Banks from California and Oregon (Plecoptera: Perlodidae). Illiesia 2011 7(1):1-23. PDF

Sandberg,JB; Stewart,KW 2001 Drumming behavior and life history notes of a high-altitude Colorado population of the stonefly Isoperla petersoni Needham & Christenson (Plecoptera: Perlodidae). Western North American Naturalist 61 (4) 445-451.

Szczytko,SW and Stewart,KW 1979a The genus Isoperla (Plecoptera) of western North America; holomorphology and systematics, and a new stonefly genus Cascadoperla. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 32, 1-120.

Szczytko,SW and Stewart,KW 1979b Three new species of nearctic Isoperla (Plecoptera). Great Basin Naturalist 36, 211-220.

Szczytko,SW and Stewart,KW 1979c Drumming behavior of four Western Nearctic Isoperla (Plecoptera) species. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 72(6)781-786.


Illustrations


Mesosternal Y-arms.
Only visible easily on mature nymphs.