Giant Stonefly (Pteronarcys species)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Giant Stonefly, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 8/1/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Giant Stonefly is a sensitive and useful insect for anglers and biologists alike.
Giant Stoneflies are a narrow-bodied insect that are identifiable by their highly veined wings. These wings are very long and crossover the body when folded at rest, covering the Stonefly's whole body and even extending out over them. Giant Stoneflies also have long, thin antennae near their eyes. Their eyes are found on either side of the head. Bodies may appear to be black, brown or gray. A orange or red color may appear on the thorax ('neck').
Larvae are hatched in water where they spend their early phases of their lives. The naiads (juveniles) of Giant Stoneflies are incredibly sensitive to pollution and die off quickly in unclean waters. Biologists and fishermen and women use the presence of Giant Stoneflies as a mark, or indicator, of how clean the water is in that area.
Stoneflies are nocturnal creatures and generally live in areas near freshwater streams or rivers. Only the nymphs eat and they prefer to feed on algae and other plant material underwater. Adults do not eat at all.
Stoneflies, in general, can be attracted to artificial light in the late spring and early summer times of the year.