Adult and larval associations of the alpine stonefly genus Riekoperla McLellan (Plecoptera:Gripopterygidae) using mitochondrial DNA Academic Article uri icon


  • The current taxonomic understanding of the genus Riekoperla McLellan, 1971 (Gripopterygidae) is poor, with 15 of the 28 species and subspecies having unknown or uncertain larval associations. Sequences of a 657 bp fragment from the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) were obtained from 122 specimens of 13 species collected throughout the alpine areas of New South Wales and Victoria, Australia. Of these, sequence data associated adults and larvae for the following 10 species: R. alpina McLellan, 1971, R. cf. intermedia, R. compressa Theischinger, 1985, R. hynesorum Theischinger, 1985, R. karki McLellan, 1971, R. montana Theischinger, 1985, R. reticulata (Kimmins, 1951), R. rugosa (Kimmins, 1951), R. trapeza Theischinger, 1985, and R. tuberculata McLellan, 1971. Adults of R. intermedia Theischinger, 1985, R. triloba triloba McLellan, 1971 and R. williamsi McLellan, 1971 were sequenced but no larvae were associated with them. The 13 species were reciprocally monophyletic and had minimum interspecific sequence divergences ranging from 7.2–19.5%, higher than the maximum intraspecific sequence divergences (0.6–5.8%). The combination of morphology and molecular data enabled rapid life stage association for alpine Riekoperla species and this method should be used more frequently for other environmentally significant aquatic insects.

publication date

  • 2011