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Family Overview
The giant stoneflies are identifiable by two main features. The head of these larvae appears to be tilted downward, because it a vertical orientation. Pteronarcyidae have gills on both thoracic and abdominal segments. It is one of only two families of stoneflies to have thoracic gills. These large stonesflies are shredders, eating mostly algae and decomposing leaf litter. Giant stoneflies are fairly sensitive to pollution and can be used to indicate good water quality.
Characteristics
POLLUTION TOLERANCE
Midwest: up to 2.2
Southeast: up to 1.7
0 = least tolerant, 10 = most tolerant
FEEDING HABITS
Engulfer / Predator
Scraper / Grazer
Shredder / Detritivore
Shredder / Herbivore
MOVEMENT
Clinger
Sprawler
Media
iNaturalist
Diagnostic Characters
+ Expanded Character List
Order: Wings developing in wing pads. Mouthparts suitable for chewing. Gills digitiform and located near mouthparts, on neck, sides of thorax, or underside of base of abdomen, never on top or sides of abdomen. Two tarsal claws per leg. Only two tails (cerci).
Family: Not defined.