Mud Creek 997

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Streams logo web.jpg Mud Creek 997
Stream code:MR_MudCrk_997
Basin:Missisquoi Basin
State or Province:Vermont
Country:USA
Latitude:44.92156
Longitude:-72.30191
School:United Christian Academy


The following are the most common invertebrates collected from this stream site.

Chironomidae

Chironomidae.jpg
Order
Diptera
Family
Chironomidae


Common name
Nonbiting midge
Tied fly
Griffith's Gnat
Midge larvae tend to be the most common macroinvertebrate at our sites. As with other Diptera, there are no true jointed legs. Chironomidae do have a pair of prolegs at each end and preserved individuals tend to curl into a 'C'. Identification past family requires slide-mounted heads. We have seen philopotamid caddisflies misidentified with the chironomids and we suspect that that happens when samples are being sorted from trays. Under a microscope, six prominent legs can be seen on members of the caddisfly family Philopotamidae.

More information on Philopotamidae.




Psephenus

Psephenus.jpg
Order
Coleoptera
Family
Psephenidae
Genus
Psephenus


The true "water penny" is commonly found in the waters sampled. Psephenus has a rounded shape with relatively smooth edge. The false water penny, whose edges are serrated, has a more oval appearance. The gills on the ventral surface are found only in the true water pennies.

Another genus encountered in this family is Ectopria.




Baetis

Baetis.jpg
Order
Ephemeroptera
Family
Baetidae
Genus
Baetis


Common name
The Little Olive
Tied fly
Sawyer Pheasant Tail Nymph
This mayfly has three "tails" and a unique head shape. Its gills are oval shaped and insert dorsally. More mature nymphs have long, dark wing pads.

Image of the long, dark wing pads.




Glossosomatidae

Glossosoma - Whole3.jpg
Order
Trichoptera
Family
Glossosomatidae


Common name
saddlecase caddisfly
Larvae in this family build domed cases made of small rocks, and are often wider at segment 5. The pronotum is covered in dark, sclerotized plates, but there are either no sclerites on the mesonotum, or the mesonotum is unsclerotized with the exception of a few patches. The anal proleg is broadly joined to segment 9; the anal claw has one or more accessory hooks. The pronotal excision is small (approximately 1/3 anterolaterally) to accommodate the coxae.

Commonly encountered genera include Glossosoma and Agapetus.




Stenelmis

Stenelmis (larvae).jpg
Order
Coleoptera
Family
Elmidae
Genus
Stenelmis


The larvae of Stenelmis, as in Ordobrevia, have a sternum on the ventral side of the pronotum. The main difference between the two genera is in the antennae the second segment is less than twice as long as the first in Stenelmis.

The adult Stenelmis has a clear separation between the thorax and abdomen as well as a more distinctly separate head as compared to other genera.

Click here to see pictures of the sternum and antennae-




Leptophlebiidae

Leptophlebiidae whole.jpg
Order
Ephemeroptera
Family
Leptophlebiidae


Common name
pronggill mayfly
Leptophlebiidae are characterized by a somewhat flattened body and forked elongate gills. Commonly found genera include Habrophlebia and Paraleptophlebia.

Image of the forked elongate gills.




Dolophilodes

Dolophilodes.jpg
Order
Trichoptera
Family
Philopotamidae
Genus
Dolophilodes


Dolophilodes stands out in the Philopotamidae family due to its slightly asymmetrical frontoclypeus on the anterior margin and its distinguishable projecting foretrochantin.

Images of the slightly asymmetrical frontoclypeus, and the projecting foretrochantin.




Leuctridae

Leuctra (of Leuctridae) whole side.jpg
Order
Plecoptera
Family
Leuctridae


Common name
rolled-winged stoneflies or needle fly
Tied fly
Halford's Willow Fly
This family of stonefly is fairly slender by stonefly standards. The divergent wing pads are a helpful characteristic. Leuctridae are similar in overall shape to the Capniidae; however, Leuctridae often do not have pleural folds. If they are present, they only extend from abdominal segments 1-7. The genus Leuctra are recognized by abdominal terga with posterior fringes of short hairs and last few segments with longer hairs.

Images of the divergent wing pads, Capniidae, abdominal terga and a ventral view can be seen here.





Drunella

Drunella Whole.jpg
Order
Ephemeroptera
Family
Ephemerellidae
Genus
Drunella


Tied fly
Bluewinged Olive Dun
The mayfly Drunella is distinguished by its large femoral “biceps;” these femora have tubercles on the leading margins. Gills are present on segments 3-7.




Ceratopsyche

Ceratopsyche.jpg
Order
Trichoptera
Family
Hydropsychidae
Genus
Ceratopsyche


Ceratopsyche has a forked foretrochantin. The foretrochantin is the projection at the uppermost portion of the foreleg. The leg may need to be pulled away from the body to expose this feature. Ceratopsyche have a large pair of sclerites underneath the prosternum. Note: the large single sclerite is the prosternal plate. Biologists have gone back and forth between lumping this genus into Hydropsyche and splitting it back out. ITIS currently lists it as a genus (Feb 2013) but we are aware of a recent paper that lumped it under Hydropsyche.




Lymnaeidae

Lymnaeidae.jpg
Family
Lymnaeidae


Members of the family Lymnaeidae belong in the class of Gastropoda. Members contain a single, coiled shell with a right-handed spiral. Differing from those of Planorbidae, members of Lymnaeidae have a larger opening. Respiration in these snails are through lung-like structures. Preferred habitats include those with slow streaming waters and heavy vegetation.

Images of the family Lymnaeidae and the class Gastropoda.





Nigronia

Nigronia cover.jpg
Order
Megaloptera
Family
Corydalidae
Genus
Nigronia


Members of the genus Nigronia share some superficial commonalities with Trichoptera, but on careful inspection one can see the two pair of anal claws that help place it in the order Megaloptera. The size of mature larvae is impressive; specimens from other genera exceed 8 cm in length. The abdominal segments have ribbon-like gills on the lateral portions. The mouth has mandibles that are serrated and used for biting prey. They can be confused with the more slender whirling beetle larvae; whirligig larvae also have simpler jaws.

Images of the two pairs of anal claws, whirligig beetle larvae and their simpler jaws.





Leuctra

Leuctra2.jpg
Order
Plecoptera
Family
Leuctridae
Genus
Leuctra


This family of stonefly is fairly slender by stonefly standards. The divergent wing pads are a helpful characteristic. Leuctridae are similar in overall shape to the Capniidae; however, Leuctridae often do not have pleural folds. If they are present, they only extend from abdominal segments 1-7. Leuctra are recognized by abdominal terga with posterior fringes of short hairs and last few segments with longer hairs.

Image of the divergent wing pads.




Neophylax

Neophylax examples.jpg
Order
Trichoptera
Family
Uenoidae
Genus
Neophylax


Common name
Fool's Caddis
Tied fly
Peeping Caddis
Neophylax are characterized by having a sclerotized pronotum and mesonotum. They build a case of coarse sand grains often with a pair of latteral pebbles or "ballast stones". The larvae are rather stout and the head is scrunched in between the limbs. The anal hooks are attached directly to the abdomen and they rarely come out of the case when preserved. On the ventral surface of the abdominal segments, one can see darkened ovals, known as the chloride epithelia. Like the Limnephilidae, they have a prosternal horn, though it can sometimes be small. Also, they have a dorsal hump and two lateral humps on the first abdominal segment- be careful! Often times, these features can be squished down or damaged in the sampling process. A larva removed from it's case is shown here.

The feature that distinguishes Uenoidae from Limnephilidae is the mesonotum: on either side of the midline, the anterior margin is notched.

Because our samples were taken in summer, we found large numbers of Neophylax pre-pupae. We anticipate that there will be fewer present in the streams in late September and many of those sampled will be at the pupal or adult stage. Samples taken in October would tend to have more empty cases.




Perlidae

Agnetina.jpg
Order
Plecoptera
Family
Perlidae


Common name
The Golden Stonefly Creeper
Tied fly
Connecticut Curler
This stonefly is characterized by the three pairs of filamentous gills located on the sides of all three thoracic segments. It is distinguished from the family Pteronarcyidae by the absence of gills on the abdominal segments. Often, the thoracic terga are brightly patterned as pictured, though this is not always the case. Another important feature is that the paraglossae and glossae extend different lengths.

Images of filamentous gills and the family Pteronarcyidae.

Genera commonly encountered in this family include Acroneuria, Agnetina, and Paragnetina. Less commonly, we have found Perlesta.

Very rarely encountered genera include Neoperla and Hansonoperla. If you believe you have found either of these, please send a specimen our way!




Heptageniidae

Dic 2008 F Heptageniidae.jpg
Order
Ephemeroptera
Family
Heptageniidae


Common name
flatheaded mayfly
Tied fly
Light Cahill, Wingless Pale Evening Dun
This family of mayflies can be characterized by their distinctly flattened heads and striking resemblance of the character 'Jack Skellington' from the movie 'The Nightmare Before Christmas.' This family can either have two or three cerci (tails).

Commonly encountered genera include:

Epeorus

Heptagenia

Maccaffertium

Rhithrogena




Baetidae

Baetis.jpg
Order
Ephemeroptera
Family
Baetidae


Common name
Small minnow mayfly
Tied fly
Tiny blue-winged olive
This mayfly has either two or three cerci ("tails") and a unique head shape. Its gills are oval shaped and insert dorsally. Commonly encountered genera include Acerpenna, Baetis and Pseudocloeon.

More information on the genera:

Acerpenna

Baetis

Pseudocloeon





Hydropsychidae

Hydropsyche.jpg
Order
Trichoptera (caddisfly)
Family
Hydropsychidae


Common name
net spinning caddisfly
Tied fly
Emergent Sparkle Pupa, Vermont Hare's Ear
This family of net-spinning caddisflies is very abundant at several sites. They are important filtering collectors and are quite common at urban and agricultural sites where particles of organic material can be important food resources. Genus-level identification is possible for mature specimens and we will include the genera we found at your site if possible.

When using the key, some features that are challenging to see are the forked trochantin and the paired sclerites in the folds between segments. Other, more easily seen key features include filamentous gills on the abdominal segments and the sclerotization of the dorsal surfaces of all three thoracic segments. Keep in mind that with smaller or more immature specimens, genus-level ID may not be possible.

Commonly found genera include Cheumatopsyche, Ceratopsyche, and Hydropsyche. Less commonly, we have found Arctopsyche and Potamyia.

Images of the forked trochantin and the paired sclerites.




Cheumatopsyche

Cheumatopsyche.jpg
Order
Trichoptera
Family
Hydropsychidae
Genus
Cheumatopsyche


Cheumatopsyche has a forked foretrochantin (as does Ceratopsyche). The foretrochantin is the projection at the uppermost portion of the front leg closest to the head. The leg may need to be pulled away from the body to expose this feature. Cheumatopsyche have a small or inconspicuous pair of sclerites under the prosternal plate that are difficult to see. Contrast that with the larger pair of sclerites found on Ceratopsyche. To access sclerites, it's best to gently pull the pronotum and mesonotum in opposite directions. Note: the large single sclerite is the prosternal plate. Cheumatopsyche have only 2 types of hair on the abdomen: long thin plain hairs and thicker club hairs, which are narrow close to the body and widen out at the distal end. Paired sclerites on the ninth abdominal segment are notched.




Hydroptilidae

Hydroptila larva.jpg
Order
Trichoptera
Family
Hydroptilidae


Common name
micro caddisflies
Members of this family, commonly called micro-caddisflies are typically found in soft pouch-like cases made of silk. As the common name suggests, they are tiny, but have rather bulbous abdomens. Like the Hydropsychidae, the dorsa all three thoracic segments are sclerotized. Unlike them, however, they have no filamentous gills on their abdomens.

Hydroptila is the most common genus we encounter. A close up image can be seen here and click here for more information onHydropsychidae.




Template:Curculionidae


Pteronarcys

Pteronarcys Nymph C.JPG
Order
Plecoptera
Family
Pteronarcyidae
Genus
Pteronarcys


Common name
The Giant Stonefly
Tied fly
Kaufmann's Black Stone
Pteronarcyidae have branching gills from the bases of their legs as does Perlidae. What distinguishes Pteronarcyidae from Perlidae is the presence of gills on the first two abdominal segments. There are only two genera in this family, but the other, Pteronarcella, is only found in the west/southwest.

Click to see an example of Perlidae or the gills on the first two abdominal segments.




Ephemerella

Drunella Whole.jpg
Order
Ephemeroptera
Family
Ephemerellidae
Genus
Ephemerella


Common name
The Hendrickson; The Red Quill; The Hendrickson Spinner Fall
Tied fly
Hendrickson; Flick's Red Quill; Lunn's Particular
Mayflies in this genus have long intersegmental setae on their cerci that extend laterally and may or may not have whorls of spines at the end of each segment of their cerci. Their maxillary palps are well-developed.

Image of the intersegmental setae.