Struggling Stoneflies


Even the most inconspicuous insects can play a vital role in rivers and streams. The lowly stonefly (Order Plecoptera) spends all but the last few weeks of its life hiding its flattened body among the stones of the streambed. Yet these unassuming bugs are a major component of many freshwater environments, accounting for as much as 10% of the invertebrates produced in some rocky streams. Their abundance makes them a favorite food item of sportfish like trout and bass, but their role in the food web doesn’t end there.


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