This is the smallest stonefly I've ever collected, with a body only 5.5 mm long.
Although not in-focus in my pictures, its first tarsal segment is similar in length to the third, while the second is much shorter. This helps with family-level identification.
Examining this specimen under a microscope shows a membranous lobe on the dorsal (Dorsal: Top.) base of the cerci (Cercus: The left and right "tails" of an insect are known as the cerci or caudal cerci. The middle tail of a three-tailed insect is not.), which is the key characteristic in Merritt & Cummins (4th ed.) to place the genus definitively as Malenka.
Following the species key in Jewett Jr's Stoneflies of the Pacific Northwest, the species appears to be Malenka tina. My dissecting microscope seems to show sternite (Sternite: The bottom (ventral) part of a single segment on an insect's abdomen.) 9 ending in a rounded knob, which distinguishes it from Malenka bifurcata, but the detail is hard to work out.
Also worth noting is that Montana appears to have this species, whereas birfucata is not know there: http://fieldguide.mt.gov/displaySpecies.aspx?family=Nemouridae
This stonefly was collected from the Madison River on July 1st, 2019 and added to Troutnut.com on July 18th, 2019.
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