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Stoneflies - Plecoptera: Chloroperlidae of Gunnison County, Colorado

Sweltsa coloradensis - Colorado Sallfly

(Banks 1898)
Updated 18 Mar 2021
TSN 103283


Older publications may refer to this species as Chloroperla coloradensis.

Good Links

On this website:
Introduction to Sweltsa

Other Websites:
Species details from plecoptera.species.file

Photos, Map, Museum, DNA - Barcodinglife.org

  • Photos -by Riley Nelson from the Tree of Life
         Nymph slide 35
         Another Nymph slide 36>
         Adult Slide 5


    Banks,N 1898 Descriptions of new North American neuropteroid insects. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 25:199-218.
         Original description of S. coloradensis as Chloroperla coloradensis.

    Baumann,RW, Gaufin,AR and Surdick,RF 1977 The stoneflies (Plecoptera) of the Rocky Mountains. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 31, 1-208.
         Quote from page 178: "This species is common in creeks and small rivers throughout its range. The adults emerge from April through August. "

    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. First page

    Hassage,RL 1989 Life histories, behavior and space partitioning in selected species of western North American Plecoptera. pHd Dissertation, University of North Texas. 105pgs. PDF
         Abstract: "Five species of stoneflies (Zapada haysi, Plumiperla diversa, Taenionema pacificum, Isoperla petersoni, Arcynopteryx compacta) from the North Slope and Interior of Alaska were examined for seasonal patterns of emergence of adults and growth of nymphs. Generally growth was retarded during the winter in this region, and all species except I. petersoni completed growth prior to January. The life cycles of six stonefly species (Prostoia besametsa, Triznaka signata, Sweltsa coloradensis, Isoperla fulva, Skwala parallela, Claassenia sabulosa) are described from northern New Mexico. In this region growth was generally less retarded during the winter than in Alaska; P. besametsa completed all nymphal growth during late fall and winter. Drumming behavior of a Colorado population of Pteronarcella badia was described using an evolutionary framework to explain the maintenance of signal variation in this species. Laboratory experiments were used to explore the effect of intraspecific and interspecific interactions on spatial partitioning in P. badia and Claassenia sabulosa. P. badia exhibited clumping and distributed itself as the surface area of substrate in low densities; however, in the presence of C. sabulosa its distribution was random and different from available surface area. A field study was used to examine spatial partitioning by three New Mexico stonefly species (I. fulva, P. besametsa, T. signata) and to ascertain patterns of microdistribution relating to several abiotic and biotic factors. Generally, there was an interaction of the measured abiotic parameters (current, water temperature, time) with nymphal size. Additionally, void space and sample volume were successfully used to compare biotic densities among leaf and mineral substrates, which were higher in leaf packs than in mineral substrates."

    Kiffney,PM; Clements,WH 1994 Effects of heavy metals on a macroinvertebrate assemblage from a Rocky Mountain stream in experimental microcosms. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 13 (4) 511-523.

    Kondratieff,BC and 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 394. "This common and widespread Western North American species can be abundant in many Montane and Plateau streams, including larger streams between 1,600m and 2,500m."

    Malison,RL; Ellis,BK; DelVecchia,AG; Jacobson,H; Hand,BK; Luikart,G; Woods,HA; Gamboa,M; Watanabe,K and Stanford,JA 2020 Remarkable anoxia tolerance by stoneflies from a floodplain aquifer. Ecology, 101(10), p.e03127. PDF

    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.
         They found Sweltsa pr. coloradensis primarily in the hyporheic samples. The mean density in the surface samples was 2000 animals/meter² while in the hyporheic zone there was a mean of 13,744 animals/meter².

    Newell,RL; Baumann,RW and Stanford,JA 2008 Stoneflies of Glacier National Park and Flathead River basin, Montana. International Advances in the ecology, zoogeography, and systematics of mayflies and stoneflies. University of California Publications in Entomology, Berkeley and Los Angeles, pp.173-186.
         The authors note that S. coloradensis was the 2nd most frequently recorded species out of the 100 different stonefly taxa they collected in their survey of Glacier National park and the Flathead basin in northwestern Montana.

    Stark,BP and Baumann,RW 2018 Two New Stonefly Species in the Sweltsa coloradensis (Banks) Complex (Plecoptera: Chloroperlidae). Illiesia, 14(02):30-43. https://doi.org/10.25031/2018/14.02 PDF
         Abstract: "Male reproductive structures were examined with scanning electron microscopy for populations of the Sweltsa coloradensis (Banks) complex from throughout the known range in western North America. Sufficient variation was observed in epiproct structure to recognize and describe two new species. Sweltsa mogollonica, n. sp. is recognized from eastern Arizona and western New Mexico and S. lyrata, n. sp. is recognized from Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Yukon Territory."
    [Among many electron microscope images is one of a specimen from Quartz creek in Gunnison County, CO]

    Stewart,KW and Stark,BP 2002 Nymphs of North American Stonefly Genera. 2nd edition The Caddis Press, Columbus, Ohio. 510 pages.
         Photo of nymph with clearly visible abdominal stripe on page 105 figure 6.8

    Surdick,RF 1985 Nearctic Genera of Chloroperlinae (Plecoptera: Chloroperlidae). University of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL. 146 pages.

    Surdick,RF 1995 New western nearctic Sweltsa (Plecoptera: Chloroperlidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 97 1, 161-177.

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