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Stoneflies: Plecoptera - Stoneflies And People

Animal Life ResourceInsects and SpidersStoneflies: Plecoptera - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Stoneflies And People, Conservation Status, Giant Salmonfly (pteronarcys Californica): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET


Stoneflies are a very important part of stream food webs. Since nearly all species require clean water to reproduce, their presence in a stream or river is used as an indication of good water quality. Both the adults and larvae are an important food source for fish. Fishermen make lures called flies that imitate the forms of both adult and larval stoneflies and use them instead of living bait to catch fish.


Aquatic insects are used to measure the quality of freshwater habitats. One method of measuring water quality is to count the total number of larvae of three pollution-sensitive insect groups: mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies. This number is compared with the total number of pollution-tolerant fly larvae known as midges. Streams with more mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies and fewer midges are less likely to be polluted than other streams in the same area with relatively more midges.

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