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Winter Stoneflies Emerging and Mating

3-4-13 stonefly IMG_5015Stoneflies spend the larval stage of their life in streams, but as adults they are terrestrial. When the larvae mature, they leave the streams they grew up in, split their larval skins and emerge as winged adults, ready to mate. Most species mature in warmer months, but there are two families, referred to as winter stoneflies, that emerge at this time of year, perhaps because of the scarcity of predators. You can often find these cold-hardy stoneflies crawling around on top of the snow near streams.

4 responses

  1. Tom Libby

    What am I seeing jumping around on the surface of the water on the quiet edges of mostly frozen Morses Pond in Wellesley. Very tiny, like fleas. I initially thought I was seeing little bubbles or raindrops. Also, am I seeing tiny tadpoles this time of year?

    March 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm

  2. Al Stoops, Nelson NH

    Tom, maybe snow fleas (springtails), which have 6 legs, but are apparently not classified as insects.

    March 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  3. SD

    Can we see a photo of the larval stage?

    March 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

  4. Gail J Suhadolnik

    I have infestations of winter stonefly, more specifically allocapnea pygmaea in my basement every February. We have a well and live next to a stream.

    February 24, 2020 at 12:59 pm

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