stonefly


stonefly
/stohn"fluy'/, n., pl. stoneflies.
any of numerous dull-colored primitive aquatic insects of the order Plecoptera, having a distinctive flattened body shape: a major food source for game fish, esp. bass and trout, which makes them popular as models for fishing flies.
[1400-50; late ME ston flie. See STONE, FLY2]

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Any of some 1,550 insect species (order Plecoptera) with adults, about 0.

25–2.5 in. (6–60 mm) long, that are generally gray, black, or brown. They have long antennae; weak, chewing mouthparts; and two pairs of membranous wings that, at rest, fold like a fan. The hind wings are generally broader but shorter than the forewings. Despite their well-developed wings, stoneflies are poor fliers. The female drops a mass of up to 6,000 eggs into a stream. Nymphs resemble adults but are wingless and may have external gills; they feed on plants, decaying organic matter, and insects. The nymphal stage lasts one to four years; adults live several weeks.

Stonefly (Plecoptera)

William E. Ferguson

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insect
 any of about 2,000 species of insects, the adults of which have long antennae, weak, chewing mouthparts, and two pairs of membranous wings. The stonefly ranges in size from 6 to more than 60 mm (0.25 to 2.5 inches). The hindwings are generally larger and shorter than the forewings and fold like a fan when not in use. Even though its wings are well developed, the stonefly is a poor flier. Many species are gray, black, or brown and blend into their surroundings.

      The life history of the stonefly is not well known. Each female may produce as many as 6,000 eggs, which are dropped in masses into a stream. The stonefly nymph resembles the adult but lacks wings and may have external gills on various parts of its body. The nymph feeds on plants, decaying organic matter, and other insects. The nymphal stage lasts from one to four years, and the adults live several weeks.

      Stoneflies, along with mayflies and caddisflies, are important biotic indicators of water quality.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • stonefly — [stōn′flī΄] n. pl. stoneflies any of an order (Plecoptera) of soft bodied, winged insects whose nymphs live under stones in swift streams: often used as bait in fishing …   English World dictionary

  • stonefly — noun any insect, of the order Plecoptera, having a flattened body; they are used by fishermen as bait …   Wiktionary

  • stonefly — noun (plural stoneflies) a slender insect with transparent membranous wings, the larvae of which live in clean running water. [Order Plecoptera: many families.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • stonefly — stone•fly [[t]ˈstoʊnˌflaɪ[/t]] n. pl. flies ent any of numerous dull colored primitive aquatic insects of the order Plecoptera, having a distinctive flattened body shape: a major food source for game fish • Etymology: 1400–50 …   From formal English to slang

  • stonefly — /ˈstoʊnflaɪ/ (say stohnfluy) noun any of the insects constituting the order Plecoptera, whose larvae abound under stones in streams …   Australian English dictionary

  • stonefly — n. (pl. flies) any insect of the order Plecoptera, with aquatic larvae found under stones …   Useful english dictionary

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