This tiny Stonefly crawled out onto snow on an early spring day, to have its picture taken. It was April 4th, by Chester Creek, in mid-town Anchorage.

Stoneflies are in the Order Plecoptera, and this one is probably in the Family Nemouridae.

All species in the Order have aquatic larva. Most prefer cool streams. The larva, called naiads, overwinter under the ice, at near freezing temperatures. Stoneflies are entirely beneficial. As larvae and adults, they are eaten by a variety of fish. The presence of stoneflies is often viewed as a sign of good water quality, because they are highly vulnerable to pollution. Most are weak fliers; some don't fly at all. The pictured one did take off from my hand, but flew weakly and landed back on the snow about 8' away.


Above: habitat of the stonefly
Below: on snow (L) & finger (R)


Butterflies of Alaska

 Moths of Alaska

 Dragonflies of Alaska

  Spiders in Alaska

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