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Stoneflies - Plecoptera: Perlodidae of Gunnison County, Colorado

Isoperla quinquepunctata
Fivespot Stripetail

(Banks 1902)
Updated 17 December 2017
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 - from Troutnut.com

Photos, Map, Museum specimens, DNA - Barcodinglife.org


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.
     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

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 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.

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

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.

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