Perlopsis filicornis, from Zhuzhgova et al. (2015).

Belongs within: Polyneoptera.
Contains: Grypopterygomorpha, Arctoperlaria.

The Plecoptera, stoneflies, are a group of mostly detritivorous or omnivorous insects with nymphs that are mostly aquatic or, if terrestrial, found in damp habitats. They are first known in the fossil record from the latest Early Permian (Sinitshenkova 2002a), where they are represented by such species as the slender-bodied, long-legged Perlopsis filicornis.

Characters (from Sinitshenkova 2002a): Body size moderately small to large. Head prognathous, with mouthparts chewing (mandibles sometimes much reduced). Thorax structure little modified, prothorax large, lacking wide paranota, meso- and metathoraces of similar structure. Legs cursory (with swimming hairs in many nymphs), with tarsus 3-segmented. Wings membranous, almost completely overlapping each other over abdomen at rest, with pre-anal venation similar in both pairs, excluding RS which lost its base and originated from M in hind wing (nymphal wing pad with RS base preserved), and CuA which is usually (primarily) simple in hind wing; hind wing anal area usually large. Wing venation not especially rich, with main veins branching at or beyond wing midlength, more often forked, RS and CuA up to 4 or 5 branches (in ground plan CuA is similar to M in having 2 branches only). Cross veins not numerous besides 2 characteristic rows aligned CuA, with most constant r-rs and r-m near RS and M forkings (roughly at level of SC apex). RS typically and probably plesiomorphically originating near wing base and running parallel to R. Flight functionally four-winged, in-phase. mainly anteromotoric in spite hind wing widened basally. Abdomen with full number of segments, lacking paranota. Primary ovipositor lost. Cerci always present, usually long, multisegmented, rarely one-segmented in adult. Nymphs aquatic, now populating almost exclusively running or cold water, often bearing external gills of different structure and disposition.

Plecoptera [Filipalpia, Perlariae, Perlida, Perlina, Perlopseina]
    |--Ohionympha S02b [Palaeonemouridae GE05]
    |--Palaeoperlidae GE05
    |--Perlopsis S02a [Perlopseidae GE05]
    |    `--P. filicornis S02a
    `--+--Grypopterygomorpha GE05
       `--Arctoperlaria GE05

Plecoptera incertae sedis:
  Plutopteryx beata S02b
  Ecdyoperla S02a
  Gurvanopteryx Z02
  Triassoperla S02b
  Berekia S02b
  Perlitodes S02b
  Dipsoperla S02b
  Savina S02b
  Lycoleuctra S02b
  Uroperla S02b
  Flexoperla S02b
  Brachyptera tristis B86
  Paraperla frontalis B86
  Isocapnia B86
  Sharaperla S02c
  Bestioperlisca S02c
  Mongolonemoura S02c
  Megateptoperla grandis O81
  Perlisca S02b
  Perlomimus S02b
  Trianguliperla S02b
  Acroneuria californica R00

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B86] Botosaneanu, L. 1986. Insecta: Plecoptera, Trichoptera. In: Botosaneanu, L. (ed.) Stygofauna Mundi: A Faunistic, Distributional, and Ecological Synthesis of the World Fauna inhabiting Subterranean Waters (including the Marine Interstitial) p. 619. E. J. Brill/Dr W. Backhuys: Leiden.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[O81] O'Brien, C. O. 1981. A. A. Book of New Zealand Wildlife: A guide to the native and introduced animals of New Zealand. Lansdowne Press: Auckland.

[R00] Ross, E. S. 2000. Embia: Contributions to the biosystematics of the insect order Embiidina. Occasional Papers of the California Academy of Sciences 149: 1–53, 1–36.

[S02a] Sinitshenkova, N. D. 2002a. Order Perlida Latreille, 1810. The stoneflies (=Plecoptera Burmeister, 1839). In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 281–287. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

[S02b] Sinitshenkova, N. D. 2002b. Ecological history of the aquatic insects. In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 388–426. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

[S02c] Sinitshenkova, N. D. 2002c. New late Mesozoic mayflies from the Shar-Teeg locality, Mongolia (Insecta, Ephemerida=Ephemeroptera). Paleontologicheskii Zhurnal 2002 (3): 43–48 (transl. Paleontological Journal 36 (3): 270–276).

[Z02] Zherikhin, V. V. 2002. Ecological history of the terrestrial insects. In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 331–388. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

Last updated: 19 October 2017.

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