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Family Overview
Larval members of this family tend to be found in small streams and rivers in areas of slow flow; however, they can be found in lentic-littoral habitats as well. They are often found sprawling on many different substrates, such as sand, silt, or even gravel, as well as clinging to root masses, woody debris, or among various plants. They usually collect and gather small bits of organic particles for food, or some taxa also filter feed. The larvae in this family have gills well-adapted to their environment; the gills on abdominal segment 2 are operculate, covering the rest of the abdominal gills to prevent them from getting damaged by sediment. Larvae also fan their gills in order to increase the flow of water across their surface area, increasing the amount of oxygen they can absorb. Adults and duns (sub-adults) in the genus Trycorythodes (Dark Brown Spinner, Pale Olive Dun, and Reverse Jenny Spinner) are especially important to the fly-fishing community due to their extremely large emergences.
Characteristics
POLLUTION TOLERANCE
Mid-Atlantic: up to 4
Upper Midwest: up to 4
Midwest: up to 2.7
Southeast: 2 - 5.4
0 = least tolerant, 10 = most tolerant
FEEDING HABITS
Collector / Filterer
Collector / Gatherer
MOVEMENT
Clinger
Sprawler
Diagnostic Characters
+ Expanded Character List
Order: Wings developing in wing pads. Mouthparts suitable for chewing. Gills present on tops and sides of abdomen. Segmented legs present. One tarsal claw per leg. Usually with 3 tails (sometimes 2).
Family: The gills on abdominal segment 2 are operculate or semioperculate, roughly triangular or oval, and not touching or fusing medially. Abdominal segments 3–6 with lamelliform (plate-like) portion of gills simple or with two lobes, never with fringed margins.