Plecoptera (Stoneflies)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The order Plecoptera, or stoneflies, is ancient. It is comprised of some 2000. species and 16 families split into two suborders, the Arctoperlaria and the Antarctoperlaria. Stoneflies are hemimetabolous, having eggs, nymphs, and adults as life stages. Nymphs feed at two trophic levels, as detritivores and as predators. The Arctoperlaria employ a vibrational communication system, drumming, that aids in mate recognition and location. Stoneflies are the most environmentally sensitive of aquatic insects and are lost from streams and cool lakes as a result of relatively minor disturbance. Important research in the future relates to the description of new species in the Oriental, Palaearctic, and Neotropical biogeographic realms, the phylogeny of higher taxa in the order, questions of large scale biogeographic interest, the role of stoneflies in food webs, and the conservation ecology and genetics of the order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Inland Waters
EditorsGene E. Likens
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780123706263
ISBN (Print)9780120884629
StatePublished - 2009


  • Antarctoperlaria
  • Arctoperlaria
  • Conservation
  • Emergence
  • Feeding
  • Imperiled Species
  • Life History
  • Mating
  • Morphology
  • Plecoptera
  • INHS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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