Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A new stonefly: Neoperla chebalinga

Image from publication
Plecoptera are an order of insects, commonly known as stoneflies. There are approximately 3,500 species found worldwide, except for Antarctica. Almost all species of stoneflies develop as nymphs in clean, moving water and are intolerant of water pollution. Their presence in a stream or still water is therefore a good indicator of excellent water quality. Once hatched from the eggs, stonefly nymphs usually complete their development within a year. Some larger species may spend two to three years as nymphs before crawling out of the water as adults. 

Once they emerge from the water, adult stoneflies will usually spend their lives within close proximity to the water’s edge. Unlike the outstretched wings of dragonflies and damselflies, stoneflies fold their wings neatly against their backs when at rest and are generally not strong fliers.

A new species has been discovered in China and it was named after the area it was found, Chebaling Nature Reserve. 

For the experts: A new species of the Neoperla clymene group (Plecoptera, Perlidae), N. chebalinga sp. n. from Guangdong Province of southern China is described, illustrated, and compared with related taxa. The new species is characterized by the slender aedeagal tube, strongly sclerotized dorsally, and weakly sclerotized ventrally with an upcurved, medial, finger-like membranous lobe. Additionally the aedeagal sac gradually tapers to a blunt apex with a dorsoapical patch of spines. A supplementary description of the female of N. mnong Stark, 1987 from Guangdong Province, China is also given.

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