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The Specimen

The Discussion

PeterOApril 25th, 2007, 8:34 am
Posts: 8This is actually a specimen of the family Taeniopterygidae, probably Taenionema atlanticum. Notice the large sternal plate at the apex of the abdomen. This plate is used in drumming behavior. Adult Taeniopterygids mimic the sounds of male Ruffed Grouse in an attempt to draw in female grouse to parasitize. They attach themselves at the base of the beak and feed until gorged. They then mate, smoke a cigarette, lay some eggs, and die. On a serious note, all Taeniopterygids except species of Taeniopteryx, have the drumming plate. Nemourids are lacking this feature. There is a difference in the second tarsal segment as well. Happy Bugging!

TroutnutApril 25th, 2007, 10:04 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Interesting! I guess I quickly skipped over that family because the specimens I'm used to seeing from that family in Taeniopteryx have a more conspicuous triangular outline formed by their wingpads.

How loud and deep is the stonefly's drumming? Can it really be mistaken for a grouse, or is it higher-pitched?
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
EarlfishmanApril 25th, 2007, 10:31 am
Posts: 17Just a hunch, but I think PeterO might be pulling our cerci...

On the other hand, a large number of Taenionema atlanticum might be able to overpower a very small grouse...

Either way, it would make for an interesting story, particularly if they turned out to be venemous.

PeterOApril 25th, 2007, 10:50 am
Posts: 8Earl-

we all know that venomous stoneflies are just an urban myth.... venomous mayflies on the other hand...

mr narcellasp
TroutnutApril 25th, 2007, 11:55 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Well, I didn't buy the whole grouse story. I assume the part about the stonefly drumming in some way is true, though, since plenty of other insects do that. What does it really sound like, or is it not audible to people?
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
PeterOApril 25th, 2007, 12:30 pm
Posts: 8Jason-

it's not audible to the human ear. I have heard some recordings of drumming though. Taeniopterygids are known for it, but I also think some Perlodids and Chloroperlids might as well. Podmosta is a western Nemourid. Prostoia is very common in Tompkins county, especially in smaller, cooler creeks like Sixmile. You can also find Soyedina in the area. It's larger, and has a squarish pronotum with a lateral notch. I've collected it in Salmon Creek at Ludlowville. Those are really the only two Nemourids you're going to encounter with any regularity.

TroutnutApril 25th, 2007, 2:03 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Neat. Any thoughts on the identity of the other Nemourids I have labeled on this site?

When I labeled this one Podmosta I was just keying it through Merrit & Cummins, but it's pretty easy for me to make a wrong turn in those keys.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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