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Stoneflies - Plecoptera: Perlodidae of Gunnison County, Colorado

Isoperla quinquepunctata
Fivespot Stripetail

(Banks 1902)
Updated 24 March 2024small>
TSN 103045

Locations Collected

This is the most common and abundant Isoperla species (Szczytko and Stewart 1979). The Illinois Natural History Survey has a specimen in their data base from Iola on the 15th of June 1937. This is an interesting historical note because Iola and the Gunnison River nearby were flooded by Blue Mesa Reservoir until the drought in the 2000's exposed Iola again for a while.

This species is rarely referred to as Isoperla 5-punctata, a translation of I. quinquepunctata.


Older publications may refer to this species as Cloroperla quinquepunctata or Isoperla patricia.

Good Links

On this website:
Introduction to Isoperla
Key to Perlodidae Nymphs

Other Websites:
Photos, Map, Museum specimens, DNA - Barcode of Life Data System

Plecoptera Species File Isoperla quinquepunctata

Photos - from Troutnut.com


Banks,N 1902 Notes and descriptions of Perlidae. Canadian Entomologist 34:123-125.
     Described as Chloroperla 5-punctata.

Baumann,RW, Gaufin,AR and Surdick,RF 1977 The stoneflies (Plecoptera) of the Rocky Mountains. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 31, 1-208. PDF
     Quote from page 152: "This rare species occurs in creeks and rivers. The adults emerge from May to July." Further collecting has revealed this to be a much more common species, see Szczytko and Stewart 1979

DeWalt,RE; Hopkins,H; Neu-Becker,U and Stueber,G 2024 Isoperla quinquepunctata (Banks, 1902). Plecoptera Species File. Retrieved on 2024-01-13 at https://plecoptera.speciesfile.org/otus/926182/overview
     I read one or another of the stonefly webpages from Plecoptera Species File regularly and sometimes add papers or other information I learned to the website you're reading https://www.gunnisoninsects.org/ :-)

DeWalt,RE and Stewart,KW 1995 Life histories of stoneflies (Plecoptera) in the Rio Conejos of southern Colorado. Great Basin Naturalist (55) 1-18. PDF
     Abstract: "Thirty-one stonefly species representing eight families were collected during the March 1987 to May 1990 study period. Genera represented by more than one species included Capnia, Utacapnia, Taenionema, Suwallia, Triznaka, Isogenoides, and Isoperla. Peak species richness was recorded on or near the summer solstice in 1988 and 1989. Climatic differences between years were reflected in nymphal development and emergence phenology of most species. New or important corroborative life history data are presented for 11 stonefly species of this assemblage. The hyporheic nymphal development of most chloroperlid species limited the number of early instars sampled and our capacity to interpret voltinism. Limited nymphal data suggested a univoltine-slow cycle for Plumiperla diversa (Frison). Adults of Suwallia pallidula (Banks) and S. wardi (Banks) were present for an extended summer period, but the bulk of their respective emergence times was temporally separated. Isogenoides zionensis Hanson, Pteronarcella badia (Hagen), and Pteronarcys californica Newport were all shown for the first time to have a 9-10-mo egg diapause, and all three species have a semivoltine life cycle. Skwala americana (Klapálek) and Isoperla fulva Claassen were further confirmed to have univoltine-slow cycles. Univoltine-fast and univoltine-slow life cycles are reported for the first time in I. phalerata and I. quinquepunctata, respectively. Regression analysis revealed that six of the eight abundant species had extended emergence patterns (slopes of <5%/d), while only two had synchronous patterns. Warmer spring and summer temperatures in 1989 increased the slopes for five of the eight species studied, but did not change their synchrony designation. Nine of 11 abundant species advanced their median emergence date in 1989 over 1988. This and the higher slope values are consistent with a hurried nymphal development and narrower emergence period due to the warmer thermal regime of 1989."

Gill,BA Kondratieff,BC and Sandberg,JB 2015 Evaluation of the morphological species concepts of 16 western Nearctic Isoperla species (Plecoptera: Perlodidae) and their respective species groups using DNA barcoding. Illiesia: International Journal of Stonefly Research, 11(11), 130-146. PDF
     Quote from page 141: "The I. quinquepunctata species group (I. acula Jewett 1962, I. jewetti Szczytko and Stewart 1976, I. longiseta Banks 1906b, I. mormona, I. quinquepunctata) is either paraphyletic or polyphyletic (ambiguous). Specifically, I. acula and I. mormona may be more closely related to the other Isoperla included in this study than to I. quinquepunctata. This is consistent with the morphological observations that I. acula and I. mormona share similar aedeagal characters lacking in I. quinquepunctata (Table 1). For both I. acula and I. mormona, the apical half of the aedeagus is conical and ventrally curved with constricted tip and distinct but fine setae are present. If possible additional molecular studies of the two other species of the species group, I. longiseta and I. jewetti (but presumed extinct), should be conducted. It is likely that the species group as it is currently defined will be reconstituted as two or more groups as more information is gathered."

Heinold,B 2010 The mayflies (Ephemeroptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), and caddisflies (Trichoptera) of the South Platte River Basin of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. M.S. Thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 375 pages. 148 distribution maps. PDF

Illies,J 1966 Katalog der rezenten Plecoptera. Das Tierreich - Eine Zusammenstellung und Kennzeichnung der rezenten Tierformen. (Das Tierreich) 82:435

Kondratieff,BC; Baumann,RW 2002 A review of the stoneflies of Colorado with description of a new species of Capnia (Plecoptera: Capniidae). Transactions of American Entomological Society 128 3, 385-401.
     Quote from page 396: " Isoperla quinquepunctata (Banks) previously reported from Colorado by Stark et al. (1973) and Baumann et al. (1977) as I. patricia Frison, is the most common and often abundant species of Isoperla throughout the lower Mountainand Plateau regions of Colorado. Males can be macropterous or brachypterous between and within populations. "

Martinson,RJ; Sandberg,JB and Kondratieff,BC 2012 Life history and food habits of Isoperla quinquepunctata (Banks) (Plecoptera: Perlodidae) from a spring source and Willow Creek in the Piceance Basin, Colorado. Illiesia 8(12):125-133.
     Abstract: " Life history aspects of the perlodine stonefly Isoperla quinquepunctata (Banks) are reported from the Piceance Basin, Colorado. We wished to discover if the conditions of a spring source would affect the life cycle and relative food habits of I. quinquepunctata as compared to nearby Willow Creek, a typical region small stream site. It is often unusual to find stoneflies directly in a spring source in the southern Rocky Mountains, which had dissolved oxygen concentrations well below 5.2 mg/l (58% saturation), but with flowing water. Isoperla quinquepunctata exhibited a univoltine slow life cycle with extended hatching at both sites. At the spring, while the largest I. quinquepunctata nymphs ingested a variety of food types, they did not switch to carnivory as has usually been reported for Isoperla. Diatoms comprised the majority of the gut contents of nymphs from both the spring and Willow Creek sites, with detritus a more important component at the Willow Creek site. "

Nelson,SM and Roline,RA 1999 Relationships between metals and hyporheic invertebrate community structure in a river recovering from metals contamination. Hydrobiologia 397, 211-226. Abstract

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

Sandberg,JB and Kondratieff,BC 2013 The Isoperla of California (Plecoptera: Perlodidae); Updated male descriptions and adult keys for 18 western Nearctic species. Illiesia (9)34-64. PDF

Sandberg,JB and Stewart,KW 2006 Continued studies of vibrational communication (drumming) of North American Plecoptera. Illiesia 2006 2(1):1-14. PDF (227 Kb)
     Has sonograms of two-way duets between male and female I. quinquepunctata.

South,EJ; Skinner,RK; DeWalt,RE; Davis,MA; Johnson,KP; Teslenko,VA; Lee,JJ; Malison,RL; Hwang,JM; Bae,YJ and Myers,LW 2021 A new family of stoneflies (Insecta: Plecoptera), Kathroperlidae, fam. n., with a phylogenomic analysis of the Paraperlinae (Plecoptera: Chloroperlidae). Insect Systematics and Diversity, 5(4), p.1. PDF
     Table 1 indicates a I. quinquepunctata specimen was used in the phylogenetic analyses.

Stewart,KW and Oswood,MW 2006 The Stoneflies (Plecoptera) of Alaska and Western Canada. In The Caddis Press, Columbus, Ohio. vi. + 325.

Stoaks,RD and Kondratieff,BC 2014 The aquatic macroinvertebrates of a first order Colorado, USA Front Range stream: what could the biodiversity have been before irrigated agriculture?. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 87(1), pp.47-65. PDF
     Quote from pages 53 and 61 :"Both Isoperla fulva Claassen, with adults active from April into mid-July, and adults of I. quinquepunctata (Banks) emerging from late July into early August, were almost equally abundant. A single adult female of I. pinta Frison was collected. The life histories of both I. fulva and I. quinquepunctata have been reported for Colorado (DeWalt and Stewart, 1995; Martinson et al., 2012)"

Szczytko,SW and Kondratieff,BC 2015 A review of the Eastern Nearctic Isoperlinae (Plecoptera: Perlodidae) with the description of twenty-two new species. 1, 1-289. PDF

Stewart,KW and Szczytko,SW 1983 Drift of Ephemeroptera and Plecoptera in two Colorado rivers. Freshwater Invertebrate Biology. 2(3)117-131. PDF

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

Zuellig,RE; Heinold,BD; Kondratieff,BC and Ruiter,DE 2012 Diversity and Distribution of Mayflies (Ephemeroptera), Stoneflies (Plecoptera), and Caddisflies (Trichoptera) of the South Platte River Basin, Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, 1873-2010.U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 606, 257 p. PDF - caution 46MB

Zwick,P 1973 Insecta: Plecoptera Phylogenetisches System und Katalog. Das Tierreich - Eine Zusammenstellung und Kennzeichnung der rezenten Tierformen., 94, 465 pp.

Brown,WS 2004 Plecoptera or Stoneflies of Gunnison County, Colorado