Larvae and adults occur in slow-moving streams and among rooted plants of lentic habitats; both life stages are piercing predators.
Southeast: 9.1 and higher
Midwest: 5 and higher
Mid-Atlantic: 5 and higher
Piercer / Predator
Widespread (east of the Rocky Mtns.)
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Order: Larvae: Usually without lateral abdominal gills. If gills present, then 4 hooks clustered on segment 10. Thoracic legs each usually with 4 or 5 segments and with 1 or 2 claws; if without legs, head distinctly sclerotized and posterior body (thorax and abdomen) simple, without gills, hair brushes, suckers, or breathing tube. Eye spots usually present, but compound eyes absent.
Family: Larvae approximately 5–70 mm long. Sickle-shaped mandibles without mola (grinding surface). Long, slender swimming legs 5-segmented, excluding 2 claws. Abdomen 8-segmented, lacking hooks on terminal segment, usually without gills. Roughly cylindrical thorax and abdomen tapered to anterior and posterior ends. Cerci (urogomphi) usually 2-segmented, slender and longer than abdominal segment 1, but can be stout, short, inconspicuous, or absent.
Genus: Mandibles with large and distinct teeth along inner margins. Maxillary galea hooked. Urogomphi each 1-segmented. Tibiae and tarsi without swimming hairs.