Spring stoneflies, as their name suggests, typically emerge as adults in spring. They are small, brownish, and unique among other stonefly families for having an “X” pattern of venation toward the wingtips. This adult was found not far from Rattlesnake Creek, where it developed as an aquatic larvae (naiad) feeding on decaying leaves in the water. Collectively, aquatic insects that chew up leaves are known as “shredders,” providing important decomposition services.

Photo by: Carolyn Taber on 3/15/21 in Missoula, MT.