×
BugFinder Insects by State Spiders Butterflies Bees, Ants, & Wasps Beetles All Bugs Videos (YouTube)


Winter Stonefly (Various spp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Winter Stonefly.




Emerging from cold waters in early spring, Winter Stoneflies take advantage of cleaner, oxygen-rich streams and rivers that develop once the temperature drops.



 Updated: 5/7/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org


Sponsored Links



Winter Stoneflies do their growing and maturing during the coldest seasons of the year. In autumn and winter, when water temperatures cool down in streams, river, and lakes, the deeper, oxygen-rich water near the bottom is finally able to mix with the now colder surface water. This means that any aquatic life that requires lots of oxygen dissolved in water can expand their territory. Winter Stoneflies are insects whose aquatic larvae spend their lives in bodies of water like rivers and streams. They are also dependent on highly oxygenated water to survive, so their ability to withstand and even thrive in cold temperatures allows them to take advantage of improved conditions in their habitat when most other aquatic insects are absent.

Adults mate in late winter, and females lay fertilized eggs in the water. Stoneflies have only a week or two to reproduce before their short lives are spent. The hatched nymphs feed for a short time and then enter a form of hibernation during spring and summer. They resume activity in the cooler months, molting between 10 to 24 times before crawling out of the water to become a winged adult. The hard shells of their nymph bodies, called exuviae, are often seen near the water's edge and look like pale, little crustaceans. As a mature adult, this generation of Winter Stoneflies finds mates and repeats the cycle, ensuring a population continues in that area year after year.

The nymphs of stoneflies are very sensitive to pollution in water, dying in streams and rivers with seemingly little contamination. This means the presence of Stoneflies is a sign of pristine water, and the insect should be a welcome annual sighting.
Sponsored Links



General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Harmless insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Plecoptera
        Family: Taeniopterygidae [ View More ]
          Genus: Various [ View More ]
            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Descriptors
Scientific Name: Various spp.
Other Name(s): Willowfly
Category: Stonefly
Size (Adult; Length): 2mm to 15mm (0.08in to 0.59in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: gray; black; brown; red; orange
Descriptors: pale; long; slender; flying; springtime; harmless
Sponsored Links

Relative Size Comparison
Lo: 2mm | Hi: 15mm
Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.
Territorial Map
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic