Aquatic Insects of Michigan

by Ethan Bright, Museum of Zoology Insect Division and School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan

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Pteronarcyidae (Salmonflies) of Michigan - Identification

There are two genera recorded for North America, Pteronarcys Newman (Eastern North America) and Pteronarcella Banks (West and Southwestern North America). Nymphs are usually found in erosional and depositional sections of streams and rivers where there is ample coarse organic matter (wood, leafy packs), and are generally shredders of this food source (and associated macroalgae, fungi and associated microfauna), sometimes facultative predators (engulers) (Stewart and Harper 1996). Only two species of Pteronarcys are recorded for Michigan, Pteronarcys dorsata (Say) and P. pictetii Hagen (Grubbs and Bright 2003). Harden and Mickel (1952) gives characters for differentiating nymphs, but these may not be consistently reliable (Poulton and Stewart 1991).

(adapted from Hitchcock (1974), Poulton and Stewart (1991), and Nelson (2000).

    1a a. Tip of male sternum of Ab9 in lateral view curved ventrad Pteronarcys pictetti Hagen
    b. S8 hind margin slightly bowed rearward, female subgential plate with square mesal notch
    1b a. Tip of male sternum of Ab9 in lateral view not curved ventrad Pteronarcys dorsata (Say)
    b. S8 hind margin not produced with female subgenital plate unnotched, with or without 2 small projections


    Grubbs, SA., Bright, E. 2003. Arcynopteryx compacta (Plecoptera: Perlodidae), a Holarctic stonefly confirmed from Lake Superior, with a review and first checklist of the stoneflies of Michigan. >The Great Lakes Entomologist 34(2):77-84.
    Harden PH, Mickel CE. 1952. The stoneflies of MInnesota (Plecoptera). Technical Bulletin of the Minnesota Agricultural Experimental Station 201. 84 pp.
    Hitchcock SW. 1974. Guide to the Insects of Connecticut. Part VII. The Plecoptera or Stoneflies of Connecticut. Bulletin of the State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut 107. vi + 262 pp.
    Nelson CH. 2000. Pteronarcyidae (The Salmonflies), pp. 29-39 in Stark BP and Armitage BJ (Eds.) Stoneflies (Plecoptera) of Eastern North America. Volume 1. Pteronarcyidae, Peltoperlidae, and Taeniopterygidae. Ohio Biological Survey Bulletin, New Series, Volume 14, Number 1. vii + 100 pp.
    Poulton BC, Stewart KW. 1991. The stoneflies of the Oaark and Ouachita Mountains (Plecoptera). Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 38. ii + 116 pp.

Page created: May 13, 2003; Last edited: November 07, 2013 (EB)