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Plecoptera: Leuctridae

Despaxia augusta
- Smooth Needlefly, Autumn Needlefly

(Banks, 1907)
Updated 18 Feb 2019

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Leuctridae Introduction


Bottorff,RL and Bottorff,LD 2007 Phenology and diversity of adult stoneflies (Plecoptera) of a small coastal stream, California. Illiesia 3(1):1-9 pdf 292 Kb

Muchow,CL and Richardson,JS 1999 Unexplored diversity: macroinvertebrates in coastal British Colombia headwater streams. In Proceedings of a Conference on the Biology and Management of Species and Habitats at Risk, Kamloops, BC (2) 503-506. PDF
     The authors studied the emergence of adult stoneflies from intermittant and continuously flowing streams in British Columbia. They found that D. augusta emerged from both permanent and intermittant streams, even when the intermittant streams had no surface flow. Quote from page 504:"In even the smallest streams (<0.5 m bankfull width) with intermittent flow, true aquatic insects with 1-year life cycles were found emerging, even in periods when no flow was perceptible. Some examples of these species include Soyedina producta, Moselia infuscata, Despaxia augusta, and Zapada cinctipes. In intermittent sites the number of individuals emerging approached twice that of continuous streams for the 2-week monitoring periods. D. augusta (Leuctridae) was often the largest contributor to intermittent stream biomass, where it reached its highest densities in all tabulated months." Quote from page 505: "Rather than being biologically barren, intermittent channels harbour a true aquatic fauna, emerging even in periods of no discernible flow, and rival the species richness of more stable continuous sites. D. augusta, with its 2-year life cycle, is able to complete its development in these periodically “dry” channels, and reaches its highest densities in intermittent streams. This suggests that suitable refugia exist for this species and others in the wetted sediments of these habitats, despite the periodic disappearance of detectable surface flow."

Nelson,CH 2009 Surface ultrastructure and evolution of tarsal attachment structures in Plecoptera (Arthropoda: Hexapoda). Aquatic Insects, (31)523-545. Html

Richardson, JS 2001 Life cycle phenology of common detritivores from a temperate rainforest stream. Hydrobiologia 455 (1) 87-95. DOI - 10.1023/A:1011943532162
     Abstract: The timing of life cycles, including growth rates, was determined for eight common species of detritivorous insects in a second-order stream in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. Six of the species (Zapada cinctipes, Z. haysi, Malenka californica, M. cornuta, Capnia sp., and Lepidostoma roafi) had simple, univoltine life cycles. The leuctrid stonefly Despaxia augusta has a 2-year life cycle, with an apparent egg diapause of about 6 months. The chironomid Brillia retifinis produced at least three generations per year. The major growth periods for the set of species considered here span the entire year. Adults of several species exhibited seasonal declines in size at emergence, but one species had larger adults as the emergence period proceeded. Closely related taxa had more similar life cycle timing than more distantly related species suggesting a degree of phylogenetic constraint in phenology of their life cycles. The influence of the timing of leaf drop on timing of life cycles for these animals does not fit with proposed scenarios based on fast and slow leaf processing rates.

Ricker,WE 1992 Origin of stonefly names proposed by Ricker and collaborators. Perla, 18(1) 12 pages. PDF
      Quote from page 5: "Despaxia Ricker 1943 (as sg. of Leuctra). Professor R. Despax of Toulouse was a keen student of stoneflies. "

Stewart,KW and Stark,BP 2002 Nymphs of North American Stonefly Genera. 2nd edition The Caddis Press, Columbus, Ohio. 510 pages.

Zhang,Y and Richardson,JS 2007 Unidirectional prey-predator facilitation: apparent prey enhance predators' foraging success on cryptic prey. Biology Letters 3 (3)348-351. Full Text

Brown,WS 2009 Stoneflies (Plecoptera) of Gunnison County, Colorado, USA