Critter Spotlight Golden Stonefly (Acroneuria lycorias)
Good Morning Watershed Explorers,
I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday. Today's critter spotlight will focus on the golden stonefly. This little critter is super sensitive to pollution and loves cool running bodies of water like rivers and streams. It also loves stones, hence it's name!
Acroneuria lycorias is a small macro invertebrate, one of just 600 species of stoneflies in North America. Stoneflies eat different items at different stages of life which is rather neat. When they are very small nymphs they are herbivores and eat mainly plants. As they molt, which they can do up to 30 times in their nymph life, they start to transition over to omnivores and sometimes solely carnivores. They will consume their prey by biting off large chunks and swallowing them whole. They are fairly vicious predators and will consume most other types of macro invertebrates. Stonefly adults feed primarily on nectar, but will sometimes eat algae and lichen too.
Here is a picture of Acroneuria lycorias found right here in Rhode Island.
If you see any cool critters during your explorations, please forward them along by email so that I can highlight them in a future post.
Keep exploring my wonderful scientists.