Skip to main content

Stoneflies

There are over 3,500 species within the  Plecoptera order, and these insects are commonly referred to as Stoneflies. They can be found on every single continent except for Antarctica. They are poor fliers as adults, which means the individual species tend to remain in small, specific areas. This is one of the reasons why there are so many distinct species.
Chloroperlidae Enderlein

Stoneflies are awesome because they are a very primitive order. Fossils of their close relatives have been dated to the Carboniferous and Permian periods, and the order itself has been around since the Mesozoic. That is several hundred million years of history!

Another interesting fact is that a handful of Stonefly species, including the Lake Tahoe Benthic Stonefly, have the distinction of being some of the only insects to live their entire lives in the water.

All Stoneflies spend their larval stage in the water, and they are very picky about the kind of water they live in. It must be oxygen rich and pollutant free, which means that Stoneflies are a good indicator of water cleanliness and ecological degradation. Young Stoneflies may molt anywhere from 10 to 30 times, depending on the species. It can take 1-3 years for them to reach their full adult form.... but then tragically, like with many insects, their adult life is very brief. It lasts only 1-4 weeks.

The diet of a Stonefly is dependent on both the species and the instar period. (Instars are the many phases that the larvae go through while molting to reach the adult form) Some young flies eat plants or detritus. Some hunt. Some start with one diet and end up with another a few instars later. The adults of some species don't have any mouthparts at all, which means that are unable to eat, giving them shorter lifespans.

Location : Worldwide except Antarctica
Size : Varies
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Class : Insecta -- Subclass : Pterygota
Superorder : Exopterygota -- Order : Plecoptera

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Binturong

The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe