Rasmussen, Andrew K. Entomology Program, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Berner, Lewis Division of Biological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
- Reproductive behavior
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
An order of primitive insects known as the stoneflies. The order comprises 16 families and more than 2000 species distributed on all continents except Antarctica. Stoneflies spend the majority of their lives aquatically as nymphs (immature larval forms); they exit the water and live only briefly as adults on land. There are relatively slight differences between the aquatic nymphal stage and the terrestrial adult form, except for wings and tracheal gills. In stoneflies, the soft and somewhat flattened or cylindrical body ending in two tail filaments, the strong legs with paired tarsal claws, the chewing mouthparts, and the rusty blacks, dull yellows, and browns are characteristic of both the nymph and adult (see illustration). The name Plecoptera literally means pleated wing, referring to the hindwings that are folded and hidden under the forewings, which the adult holds close to the abdomen when at rest or walking. See also: Insecta
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