Good morning,
I’ve had a keckuva time identifying this insect I saw yesterday (February 29) in hordes flying above a freshwater creek in Maryland. Any idea? Sorry it’s a blurry picture, it’s the best I could do. The insect has two dark bands. They were doing lots of flying and appeared to be dropping into the water from above and then skittering across the surface of the water by flapping their wings. They were about 3/4" not including their antennae.
Thanks a lot!

Dear Vicki,
I believe you are absolutely right in your identification of a Stonefly, Plecoptera species. There are some 200 species of Stoneflies. Often adults appear in great numbers in the spring. They are poor fliers and are seldom found far from water. They lay their eggs in the water and the nymphs are aquatic. Thank you for providing a photo of our first stonefly for a new page.

Dear Daniel,
Thanks so much for writing back! You have a great web site and I’ve really enjoyed it. With 200 species of stoneflies, you could see how I needed an expert eye. I saw the flies while kayaking on Tuckahoe Creek on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The highlight of my day, though (other than seeing an otter) was finding a cocoon of a Polyphemus Moth, which I took a picture of and left to dangle patiently on its limb for a few more months.
Thanks very much again!

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