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Stoneflies - Plecoptera: Nemouridae of Gunnison County, Colorado

Amphinemura banksi - Rockies Forestfly

Baumann & Gaufin 1972

Updated 20 Sept 2020
TSN 102546


The genus Amphinemura is holarctic (found all the way around the northern hemisphere), but the species A. banksi is endemic to western North America.

Good Links

On this website:
Amphineura linda
Introduction to the genus Amphinemura
Introduction to the family Nemouridae

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Baumann,RW; Gaufin,AR 1972 The Amphinemura venusta complex of western North America. Contributions of the Science and Natural History Museum 226, 1-16. PDF
     The original description of this insect.

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 26: "This species occurs commonly in creeks and rivers. The adults emerge in July and August." Figure 67, epiproct lateral view, 68a epiproct ventral view; 68b epiproct, dorsal view; 69 paraproct ventral-lateral view on page 27. Figure 80 female terminalia, ventral view on page 31. They also mention this species is present in Gunnison County.

Baumann,RW and Kondratieff,BC 2008 The Alloperla severa complex (Plecoptera: Chloroperlidae) of western North America. Illiesia 4(6):66-75. PDF

Béthoux,O 2005 Wing venation pattern of Plecoptera (Insecta: Neoptera). Illiesia, 1(9):52-81. PDF

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 391: "This species was named from Rocky Mountain National Park in 1972 and is a common species throughout the Mountain region of the state."

Mihuc,TB; Mihuc,JR 1995 Trophic ecology of five shredders in a Rocky Mountain stream. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 10 3, 209-216. PDF
     Abstract: " The trophic ecology of five shredder taxa found in Mink Creek, Idaho was determined in laboratory food quality experiments to assess the obligate or facultative nature of resource utilization among lotic taxa commonly referred to as detritivores. The experiments tested resource assimilation for each taxon among three major resources available to primary consumers in streams; periphyton, fine particulate detrital material (FPM) and coarse particulate detrital material (CPM). Growth of each taxon was determined on each resource in laboratory experiments conducted at 10° C.
Growth results indicate that only one of the five taxa (middle-late instar Dicosmoecus atripes) was an obligate CPM detritivore. The remaining four taxa (Amphinemura banksi, Lepidostoma sp., Podmosta delicatula, and Zapada cinctipes) were generalists capable of growth on at least two of the three resource types. All four generalists exhibited growth on periphyton and CPM resources suggesting that these taxa can utilize both autochthonous and allochthonous resources. Our results do not support the idea that taxa with similar mouthpart morphology, specifically shredders, exhibit similar trophic relationships."

Mutch,RA and Pritchard,G 1986 Development rates of eggs of some Canadian stoneflies (Plecoptera) in relation to temperature. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 5(4)272-277. First page
     Abstract: The eggs of eight species of Plecoptera from Alberta were reared at constant temperatures between 2 and 25°C. All species' eggs hatched at 2°C but none hatched at 25°C. The relationships between temperature and number of days required for development and hatching were fitted to power equations. Slope values (b) ranged from -1.31 for Skwala parallela to 0.03 for Amphinemura banksi; the remainder fell between -0.94 and -0.68. All of these values, except for that for S. parallela, imply that stonefly eggs develop most efficiently at the lowest temperature within the favorable range or develop with equal efficiency throughout the favorable range.

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 A. banksi was one of the most infrequently 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.

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.
     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."

Riedl,H 2017 Introduced plant affects the structure and function of riparian food webs, Colorado State University Masters Thesis. 81 pages.
     Abstract: "Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are closely linked by the reciprocal flux of resource subsidies, but these dynamics can be uncoupled by anthropogenic change. Introduced species are easily spread by riverine systems, but the effects of non-native riparian vegetation on reciprocal arthropod subsidies are essentially unknown. I1 studied the aquatic and terrestrial arthropod communities, and their flux into and out of the stream channel, in stream reaches in northwestern Colorado invaded and uninvaded by New Mexico locust (Robinia neomexicana A. Gray), a woody plant north of its native range. I also evaluated whether the aquatic- and terrestrial-derived diets of riparian songbirds were altered in stream reaches with New Mexico locust. I found that reaches with New Mexico locust had fewer terrestrial arthropods collected from vegetation, particularly in spring. Consistent with these results, some songbird species using invaded sites displayed diet shifts towards aquatic-derived resources. Aquatic resources comprised approximately 34% of the songbird assemblage's diet, which highlights the importance of aquatic subsidies to riparian consumers. In contrast, there were no impacts of New Mexico locust on the aquatic insect community associated with the invasion. Overall, seasonal and annual variation best described patterns of arthropod subsidy production and consumption."
Quote from page 66: "The dominant shredder (Amphinemura banksi Baumann & Gaufin), was two times more abundant on leaf packs at reference sites compared to locust sites and comprised 52 ± 1% of shredder abundance and 46 ± 5% of shredder biomass in all leaf packs. Additionally, biomass of shredders collected in benthic samples during the summer 2015, coinciding with this decomposition study, was nearly 6 times greater at reference sites compared to locust sites."

Ruse,LP and Herrmann,SJ 2000 Plecoptera and Trichoptera species distribution related to environmental characteristics of the metal-polluted Arkansas River, Colorado. Western North American Naturalist 60 (1) 57-65. PDF

Stewart,KW and Stark,BP 2002 Nymphs of North American Stonefly Genera. 2nd edition The Caddis Press, Columbus, Ohio. 510 pages.
     Illustration of nymph on page 184-185, figure 9.1-9.2

Vieira,NK; Barnes,TR and Mitchell,KA 2011 Effects of wildfire and postfire floods on stonefly detritivores of the Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico. Western North American Naturalist, 71(2) 257-270. PDF
     Abstract: " Wildfires alter the quantity and quality of allochthonous detritus in streams by burning riparian vegetation and through flushing during postfire floods. As such, fire disturbance may negatively affect detritivorous insects that consume coarse organic matter. We assessed how 2 crown fires impacted stonefly detritivores in streams of the Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico. We documented stonefly populations before and after the fires and postfire floods, and compared recovery trajectories among unburned, lightly burned, and severely burned reaches. We also conducted experiments to assess burned detritus as a food resource for Pteronarcella badia Hagen. Specifically, we characterized microbial conditioning, nutrient content, and breakdown rates of burned and unburned deciduous leaves and pine needles. We compared colonization of P. badia in field-placed leaf packs and growth of P. badia in a microcosm experiment on burned and unburned treatments. Detritivorous stoneflies in Plateau streams survived wildfire, but were extirpated from burned reaches after severe postfire floods in both Capulin and Guaje canyon. In Guaje Canyon, Amphinemura banksi Baumann and Gaufin was more resilient to flood disturbance than P. badia and recolonized soon after floods abated, whereas recolonization of A. banksi was delayed in Capulin Canyon. Experiments revealed that detritus quality did not explain slow recovery; despite reduced microbial conditioning and decomposition rates, P. badia colonized and grew well on burned detritus. Instead, postfire floods removed shredder stoneflies and their detrital resources; and traits such as body size, voltinism, and dispersal likely interacted with the postfire landscape to shape recovery trajectories in burned streams."

"Adventure is just bad planning." --Roald Amundsen

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