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Plecoptera (Stoneflies) of Gunnison County, Colorado

Introduction to the Perlidae
Golden Stones, Common stoneflies, Giant Brown Stonefly #8-4

Updated 31 Aug 2009
Large Perlid stonefly nymph running about the bottom of the East River

Probably the back end of a Hesperoperla pacifica in the East River Didymosphenia geminata bloom near Gothic during the summer of 2007. In hand and cleaned up a bit this animal can be 3cm long and is yellow with dark patterns on it's head. Hesperoperla and Classenia are common throughout the Upper Gunnison Basin. Adults are stout and yellow and run around under and over the rocks at the edge of streams and rivers.

Provisional Species List

Good Links

On this website:
Key to Perlidae Nymphs
Key to Perlidae Males
Key to Perlidae Females

Other Websites:
Key - Perlidae - Aquatic Insects of Michigan by Ethan Bright


Alexander,KD and Stewart,KW 1996a Description and theoretical considerations of mate finding and other adult behaviors in a Colorado population of Claassenia sabulosa (Plecoptera: Perlidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 89 2, 290-296.

Alexander,KD and Stewart,KW 1996b The mate searching behavior of Perlinella drymo (Newman) (Plecoptera: Perlidae) in relation to drumming on a branched system. Mitteilungen Der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft Bulletin de la Societe Entomologique Suisse 69, 121-126.

Banks,N 1911 Descriptions of new species of North American Neuropterid Insects. Transactions of American Entomological Society 37, 335-360.

Baumann,RW, Gaufin,AR and Surdick,RF 1977 The stoneflies (Plecoptera) of the Rocky Mountains. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 31, 1-208.

Fuller,RL and Stewart,K,W 1977 The food habits of stoneflies (Plecoptera) in the Upper Gunnison River, Colorado. Environmental Entomology 6, 293-302.

Peckarsky,BL 1979 A review of the distribution, ecology, and evolution of the North American species of Acroneuria and six related genera (Plecoptera: Perlidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 52 4, 787-809.

Peckarsky,BL 1985 Do predaceous stoneflies and siltation affect the structure of stream insect communities colonizing enclosures? Canadian Journal of Zoology 63, 1519-1530. PDF

Peckarsky,BL 1987 Mayfly cerci as defense against stonefly predation: deflection and detection. Oikos 48 2, 161-170. PDF

Peckarsky,BL 1991 Is there a coevolutionary arms race between predators and prey? A case study with stoneflies and mayflies. Advances in Ecology 1, 167-180.

Stark,BP and Gaufin,AR 1976a The nearctic genera of Perlidae (Plecoptera). Miscellaneous Publications of the Entomological Society of America 10, 1-80.

Stark,BP and Gaufin,AR 1976b The nearctic species of Acroneuria (Plecoptera: Perlidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 49 2, 221-253.

Stark,BP; Szczytko,SW; Baumann,RW 1986 North American stoneflies (Plecoptera): systematics, distribution, and taxonomic references. Great Basin Naturalist 46, 383-397.

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

Brown, Wendy S. 2005 Plecoptera or Stoneflies of Gunnison County, Colorado