Currently viewing the category: "Stoneflies and Snowflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Termite or something else?
Location: Northern Iowa
July 30, 2015 6:48 am
I have found many of these bugs inside the house over the past week. We just moved into the house a few weeks ago. We live in northern Iowa in a town where apparently there are no termites… But these bugs look exactly like termites. I have researched online and cannot find any other bug it resembles.
Signature: K.P.

Stonefly

Stonefly

Dear K.P.,
Thanks to this image on BugGuide, we believe we have correctly identified your Stonefly as a member of the genus
Perlesta.  Stoneflies have aquatic nymphs, so we are guessing you live near some body of water.  Like other aquatic insects, Stoneflies frequently are part of a mass emergence of 1000s of individuals, and some species may be attracted to lights, which is why you are currently finding them in the home.  The emergence will not last long and you will probably have them vanish in the near future.  Though this may be a temporary nuisance, Stonefly larvae cannot live in polluted waters, so you can be comforted that your local water supply is clean.

Sue Dougherty, Ann Levitsky, Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fishfly maybe?
Location: Central PA
May 7, 2015 6:11 am
Found several of these guys at our cottage on the river over the weekend. We haven’t noticed them there before. They look a bit like fishflies, but all had a red band around the neck. Is this a trait that fishflies can have, or a different insect all together?
Signature: Kayla

Fishfly

Giant Stonefly

Dear Kayla,
Your insect is a Giant Stonefly in the genus
Pteronarcys, and according to BugGuide they are also called Salmonflies.  Just for fun, here is a link to one of our favorite Giant Stonefly postings.

Sue Dougherty liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: An insect that we have not seen on our land in Chilean Patagonia before
Location: La Junta, Aisen, Chile
April 12, 2015 3:34 pm
This insect landed on a volunteers arm while she was working away on our small farm in northern Aisen, Patagonia. We have never seen it before and wonder what it is? In adavance thanks for the work that you do, it has enabled us to better understand our ecosystem.
Signature: Paul Coleman

Stonefly

Stonefly

Dear Paul,
This is a Stonefly in the order Plecoptera, a species generally found near water as the larvae are aquatic nymphs.  According to BugGuide:  “nymphs of most spp. develop in cool, well-oxygenated water and do not tolerate pollution; therefore, their presence is an indicator of good water quality, and their absence in areas where they previously occurred may indicate pollution.”

Sue Dougherty liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: First insect of spring
Location: Riverbend Park, Virginia
March 9, 2015 4:23 pm
Hello, while walking along the Potomac River today, we saw this insect in fair abundance. It appears the American Coots and other waterfowl were eating them from the surface of the river. They were also landing on people, trees, and the still snowy ground. As far as I know, the first sighting of them was yesterday. Average length was 0.75 inches. Do you know what this insect is? Thank you!
Signature: Seth

Winter Stonefly

Winter Stonefly

Dear Seth,
This is a Winter Stonefly in the family Taeniopterygidae.  According to BugGuide:  “The defining need of winter stonefly nymphs is for very high levels of oxygen in the water. Warm temperatures, excessive organic matter, and many pollutants all reduce oxygen levels. The result: they’re only active in the coldest part of the year and are very sensitive to pollution.  Their main interest to humans is as an indicator species: you can tell that water is unpolluted if stoneflies live there. They also provide food for trout – though not as much as species active when trout are themselves more active in warmer parts of the year.”
  Here is an image of a member of the genus Taeniopteryx from BugGuide that looks very similar.

Alisha Bragg liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: longish wingy forest bug
Location: Mount Rainier National Park, WA, USA
October 26, 2014 10:19 am
Hi, I found this bug in the woods on Mount Rainier near Carbon Glacier in August. What is it? PS love you guys.
Signature: – Haley

Stonefly

Stonefly

Dear Haley,
This is a Stonefly in the order Plecoptera, but we are not certain of the species.  According to BugGuide:  “nymphs occur primarily under stones in cool unpolluted streams; some species occur along rocky shores of cold lakes, in cracks of submerged logs, and debris that accumulates around stones, branches, and water diversion grills.  spring and summer adults may be found resting on stones and logs in the water, or on leaves and trunks of trees and shrubs near water.”

Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Epic bug battle
Location: Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, Northeastern Oregon, in a river canyon
August 14, 2014 6:56 pm
Dear bugman,
In late April of 2009, my best friend and I went backpacking in the remote Wenaha-Tucannon wilderness of Northeastern Oregon, along the Wenaha river canyon. It was a spectacular trip made even more spectacular when it ended in near disaster; during a flash flood, my backpack with all of its photographic equipment was swept away and we narrowly escaped the same fate. Remarkably, the backpack was found one month ago by some hikers who pulled out one of the photo memory cards and brought it to the local sheriff, who tracked me down on facebook.
ANYWAYS, during the intervening 5 years, one of our greatest regrets about losing the photos was that we had witnessed an epic struggle between the largest spider I’ve ever seen in Oregon, and an enormous (for Oregon) long, cylindrical fly with a bright orange head that I had never seen before and couldn’t easily identify with online searches. We doubted anyone would ever believe how completely legendary and unbelievable the struggle was as these two titans locked themselves into a dance of death for at least 10 minutes. They did not care that we were there one bit. The battle was too fierce. We were able to get right up next to them with cameras and take photos….. and now we finally have those photos back! Unfortunately, my good camera with a macro lens was permanently lost, so the photos we have are only ‘decent,’ but I think they will work. I’ll be forever grateful if you can help give even more life to this newly revived fabled cha pter of my life by identifying these two mighty contestants.
Thanks so much,
John Felder
P.S. If it helps, I also have a low quality video – no fine details in focus but it give a better sense of the size because of the movement that’s visible.
Signature: John Felder

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Dear John,
If forced to choose which we are more impressed with, your amazing images or your fantastic story, we are going to have to go with the story, which is why we are featuring this posting on our scrolling feature bar.  The fact that you witnessed this “Epic Bug Battle” and then lost the images and then reclaimed the images after five years is truly an amazing story worth relaying.  The spider is a Wolf Spider in the family Lycosidae, and based on the size and eye arrangement (see BugGuide) we believe it is in the genus
Hogna.  The Carolina Wolf Spider, Hogna carolinensis, is found in Oregon, and you can see images of it on BugGuide which states:  “Considered to be the largest wolf spider in North America.” The Carolina Wolf Spider is also represented on the Spiders.Us site which states:  “This species is uncommon in the Pacific Northwest, but we have included those states in our range listing because it is still possible to find them there.”  We are going to check with spider expert Mandy Howe to get her opinion on the species.  The prey is a Giant Stonefly in the genus Pteronarcys, and it is most likely the California SalmonflyPteronarcys californica.  Here is an image from BugGuide.  One interesting note is that this sighting obviously occurred near the river, which is the correct habitat for the California Salmonfly, however, Spiders.Us indicates of the Carolina Wolf Spider:  “This spider is typically found in arid habitats such as deserts, prairies, glades, and open fields and pastures.”  Thanks again for providing your fascinating story for the entertainment and awe of our readership.  On a final note, we really hope we hear back from Mandy regarding the identity of this Wolf Spider because it may represent and new or little documented species as it was observed in such a remote location.

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Hi Eric,
This is a truly amazing story with some wonderful images.  I’m not certain how good you are with Spiders, but since you lived in Oregon, I am hoping you can provide some input.  Can you confirm or correct the identity of this Wolf Spider:  Carolina Wolf Spider or other???  I have also contacted Mandy Howe.
thanks
Daniel

Eric Eaton Disagrees
Hi, Daniel:
Definitely “other.”  I’m not even sure there are any recent records of the Carolina Wolf Spider from Oregon.  Hopefully Mandy can put it to genus.
Eric

Ed. Note:  We are guessing that Eric agrees that this is a Wolf Spider, but not that it is a Carolina Wolf Spider.

Wow!  Thanks so much!!!!
I found the salmonfly online shortly after I submitted the photo and then I felt guilty for potentially wasting your time, so I’m glad you liked it!!!
A couple of things that add up based on what you’ve told me:
1) the habitat for Hogna Carolinensis:  the area around the Wenaha river is usually quite arid in terms of ambient humidity throughout the year and probably rainfall as well.  It’s the type of canyon that’s covered in dry brown grasses, rocks, and pine trees in the gulches but not on the exposed ridges.  In spring, the river swells from the melting snowfall of winter in the mountains, but rain is usually fairly sparse. EXCEPT for the week we were there, when it rained almost nonstop, causing the flood conditions and raising the river to probably historic levels.  So I think that if Hogna Carolinensis likes arid conditions, it probably likes the Wenaha area.
2). From what I’ve read, emergence of salmonfly larvae from the water tends to occur when rivers are at peak or rapid flow, which was definitely the case at the time we were there, further confirming the identity of the salmonfly.
I am going to send you a link to the (shoddy) video I have. Quality is poor but you can see their movements as they battle. Very compelling.
The hikers who found my pack were unable to open the rusted body of my metal dSLR to remove the memory card, so we unfortunately only have the lower quality images that my friend took with his plastic lower-megapixel point and shoot. Otherwise, we would have glorious, high definition, macro lens shots and video, but at least we have something.
Thanks again for the help and for featuring the story. You guys are great. I’ll send a link to the video when I get home.
Best,
John

Here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iQSxBXFy6c
Cheers,
John

Thanks for the update John.  We were under the impression that the images you sent were from the card retrieved from the missing camera.  Your most recent email indicates that you were always in the possession of the images.  Do you by chance have a dorsal view looking down on the top of the spider?

No no, your initial impression was correct.  I only just got the images this week after not having them for 5 years.
What I was attempting to convey is that there were two cameras in the missing backpack and the hikers who found it only retrieved the memory card from one of the cameras, which happened to be the poorer quality one.  If they had been able to get the images out of the other camera (they didn’t because it was rusted shut and they couldn’t get the memory card out and didn’t want to carry out the entire camera), we would have been dealing with better quality images.  That’s all.  The story, as it is posted on your website, is completely accurate.
Here are the closest I have to a dorsal view (focus not great):
John

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Thanks for the clarification.  Bummer:  Too bad they didn’t bust the camera body to get the memory card.  Thanks for providing the dorsal view.  We wanted to be able to show the markings on the carapace.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination