Hyalite Snowfly - Isocapnia hyalita
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).
Rangewide, the species is known from the Rocky Mountains: Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Utah. Type locality in Hylite Creek, Gallatin County south of Bozeman
British Columbia, Alberta, Idaho, Montana (Lake & Missoula County). It is known from <30 EO's (most in Canada), mostly springs, seeps and small rheocrenes (NatureServe 2006). No map is available!!
Very little information exists about the ecology of this species (Baumann, Gaufin, and Surdick 1977). Reported that members of this species are found more likely in creeks, and are trophically shredder-detritivores.
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.
Probably cold water stenotherms
Adults are flying in a brief period April & May
Threats or Limiting Factors
Listed as a rare species when found, never abundant, but adults are rarely collected by biomonitoring agencies, thus few records exist!!!
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