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Trichoptera: Rhyacophilidae of Gunnison County, Colorado

Rhyacophila coloradensis

Banks 1904
Updated 17 July 2017
TSN 115156

Locations Collected

Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) Database shows this species present at the following sites: Willow Creek, Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery, Almont, and Gunnison. Allan (1975) reports this species from Cement Creek.

Good Links

On this website:
Introduction to Rhyacophila

Other Websites:
Photos, Map, Museum specimens, DNA - Barcodinglife.org

University of Alberta Entomology Collection Species page
     Has illustration of male genitalia, description, habitat information, range and more.


Allan,JD 1975. The distributional ecology and diversity of benthic insects in Cement Creek, Colorado. Ecology 56:1040-1053. PDF

Banks,N 1904 Neuropteroid insects from New Mexico. Transactions of American Entomological Society 32, 97-110.
     Described as Rhyacophila stigmatica. In 1906, Banks noted R. stigmatica was already used by a species of caddisfly in Europe and changed the name to Rhyacophila coloradensis.

Banks,N 1906 Descriptions of new neuropteroid insects. Transactions of American Entomological Society 32 (1) 1-20.

Herrmann,SJ; Ruiter,DE and Unzicker,JD 1986 Distribution and records of Colorado Trichoptera. Southwestern Naturalist 31 4, 421-457.
     They note the habitat for this species is streams and rivers, the altitudinal range is 1658 to 3319m and adult collection dates are 22 March to 20 September. Quote from page 450: "Smith (1968b) reported the immature stages from "...the margins and in the deeper portions of rapids." In Colorado the majority of the pupae overwinter and emerge in the spring. Peck and Smith (1978) cited this rhyacophilid from Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana,and Idaho. "

Peck,DL; Smith,SD 1978 A revision of the Rhyacophila coloradensis complex (Trichoptera: Rhyacophilidae). Melanderia 27, 1-24.

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
     They looked at adult stonefies and caddisfies upstream and downstream of inputs from trans mountain diversions, heavy metal pollution and dams on the Arkansas River in 1983 and 1984. Quote from page 61: "Rhyacophila coloradensis also appeared to be tolerant of high sedimentary metal concentrations and to have a wide distribution above the impoundment[Pueblo Reservoir]; however, it was absent at the first two sites below California Gulch[heavy metal source]." Quote from page 63: "The negative effect of heavy metal inputs from Leadville Drain and California Gulch on stonefly or caddisfly species richness was less than that of Pueblo Reservoir."

Short,RA and Ward,JV 1980 Macroinvertebrates of a Colorado high mountain stream. The Southwestern Naturalist, 23-32. PDF

Smith,SD 1968 The Rhyacophila of the Salmon river drainage of Idaho with special reference to larvae. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 61 3, 655-674.
     Has a key to larvae that includes R. coloradensis. Description of Larvae "Head light brown, occasionally with darkened muscle scars dorsally (Figure 26); frontoclypeus with a dark brown area on the posterior margin; maxillary palpus short and stubby, second segment twice as long as first; mandibles as in bifila (Figure 27). Pronotum with indistinct brown maculations. Abdomen with lateral, bilobed, fleshy protuberances on segments Il-Vill. Anal proleg as in bifila with short baso-ventral hook, without an apico-lateral spur, and anal claw with distal tooth forked, both forks large, basal tooth smaller, not forked (Figure 28). "

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment Data Warehouse (NAWQA) shows this species is present in Gunnison County. Data as of 1Sep2005

Wold,JL 1973 Systematics of the genus Rhyacophila (Trichoptera: Rhyacophilidae) in western North America with special reference to the immature stages (Doctoral dissertation). PDF
     Quote from page 65: "Biology: Denning (1948b) stated that adults were collected in Wyoming in August and September. Smith (1968) studied coloradensis in the Salmon River drainage of Idaho, He found the peak emergence of adults in September with a second peak from March through May. Pupae were collected in March, April, and July. Nimmo (1971) repbrted a single extended period of emergence in Alberta, from 3000 to 6000', from early May to late August, with the peak in May. My records show adults collected from early March through September. Dodds and Hisaw (1925) recorded this species in Colorado from 6000 to 11, 000'."

Brown,WS 2004 Trichoptera of Gunnison County, Colorado, USA