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Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Cheama Snowfly - Capnia cheama


Global Rank: G4
State Rank: SNR

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General Description
Species within the Capniidae are small winter stoneflies. This family is one of the largest families in the order Plecoptera, containing some 300 species distributed throughout the Holarctic region, 25 species occur in Montana. As their name implies these species are generally cold-water stenotherms and hatch in late-winter through early spring. The adults emerging in the winter are often found walking around on the snow. Their closest relatives are the rolled-winged stoneflies (Leuctridae). Many species are endemic to small ranges, perhaps due to the family's tendency to evolve tolerance for cold (isolating populations in mountain valleys) and winglessness (inhibiting dispersal).

Food Habits
Merritt and Cummins (1996) report that members of this family are trophically shredder-detritivores; eating large particulate organic materials such as detritus, leaves and plants.

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Cummins, K.W. and R.W. Merritt. 1996. Ecology and distribution of aquatic insects. Chapter 6, pages 74-86 in R.W. Merritt and K.W. Cummins (eds.) An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America. Third Edition. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa. 862 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Cheama Snowfly — Capnia cheama.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program.  Retrieved on September 27, 2016, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=IIPLE03040