T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Stonefly nymph (Genus: Austroperla) Austroperla cyrene

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Sub phylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Infra-class: Neoptera
Order: Plecoptera
Family: Austroperlidae
Genus: Austroperla
Species: A. cyrene
Binomial name: Austroperla cyrene
Synonyms: Heteroperla hare, Chloroperla cyrene
Common name: Black stonefly nymph

Austroperla cyrene is a New Zealand stonefly that is common throughout riparian (interface between land and stream) areas. It is a successful coloniser that is even able to exist in the saltwater wedge (when the mouth of a river flows directly into salt water) of estuaries.
Austroperla cyrene nymph has a rounded body, with integument dark and heavily sclerotised. Ocelli are present. Antennae are strongly tapered. Gills are tube-like, indistinctly segmented, one at tip of each subanal lobe and another above anus. Cerci are short, well tapered, with last 3 or 4 segments membranous. (described from McLellan 1997).
This nymph feeds as a shredder, collector and a browser utilising decaying wood, leaves and their saprophytic fungi, fine organic particles, stone surface organic layers, algae and even dead insects.
The known predators of Austroperla cyrene nymphs are mayfly nymphs, other stonefly nymphs, trout, galaxias, eels, upland bully, dobsonfly nymphs, tube maker caddisfly larvae and the free living caddis fly larvae.