A Rhyacophilan Caddisfly - Rhyacophila belona
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This species is found in Montana and Alberta, ranging from 6000 to 7000 feet in altitude.
High alpine moraine creeks.
Most Rhyacophila species are predators feeding mostly on aquatic insects, especially midges and blackflies
A cold water stenotherm preferring year round water temperatures lower than 12 degrees Celcius.
In Alberta, Adults can be found from early June to later July. (http://www.entomology.ualberta.ca/searching_ species_details.php?s=3141)
R. belona is a regional endemic only known to occur in high alpine snowmelt and spring fed streams along the Rocky Mountain Cordillera in Glacier National Park of Montana, Waterton, Banff and Jasper National Parks of Alberta & British Columbia. With the increased advancement of global warming, this species could be considered a candidate for the USFWS T&E species list.
Threats or Limiting Factors
Specific threats to Montana populations of R. belona would include global warming and the melting of glaciers. If the existing glaciers disappear from Glacier National Park, as predicted in 25 years (2030-2040). This species will likely be extirpated from the state and possibly extinct. In general, cold-stenothermic (cold-water specialists) invertebrate populations are affected by changes to aquatic habitat, such as alteration of flow patterns, streambed substrate, thermal characteristics, and water quality.
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