Plecoptera in the Best of the Web Directory


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More commonly known as stoneflies, Plecoptera is an order of insects with approximately 3,497 species distributed in various locations worldwide except in Antarctica. Members of the Plecoptera order are unable to tolerate water pollution making them natural, living indicators of good water quality.

The term "Plecoptera" means "braided wings" dervied from the Ancient Greek plekein (p???e??, "to braid") and pteryx (pt????, "wing").

Distinguishing physical features of stoneflies include simple mouthparts with chewing mandibles, long multi-segmented antennae, large compound eyes and two or three ocelli, robust legs each ending in two claws, relatively soft abdomen, and long paired cerci projecting from the abdominal tip in both nymphs and adult flies. The stoneflies' pairs of membranous wings have complex venation and they are generally not strong flying insects. Some species may not have wings.

Most of the plecoptera life is spent as nymphs in water, typically one to four years depending on species and undergoing 12-33 moltings, before they become terrestrial adult insects and live for only a few weeks.
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