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C. Riley Nelson
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taxon links [down<--]Plecoptera Interpreting the tree
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This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

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Tree modified from Surdick (1985).
Containing group: Plecoptera


Chloroperlidae consists of approximately 110 species divided between the nearctic, palearctic, and oriental regions. The nymphs are distinctive in having quite short legs and shortened cerci. Some genera are a common part of the general benthos in streams and rivers while others, especially the Paraperlinae, are exclusively hyporheic.


Zwick (1973) lists two synapomorphies of the Chloroperlidae as: 1, last palpal segment minute, conical, inserted asymmetrically on second to las segment; 2, caecal sacs of gut reduced. He lists the synapomorphy for the Paraperlinae as having the head elongate, with the temples parallel. He lists three synapomorphies for the Chloroperlinae: 1, tearing mandible of nymph secondarily present in adult; 2, distal portion of male epiproct no longer directed posteriorly but sharply bent to point forwar: basal rod flat and wide, largely fused to front margin of 10th segment; 3, anal fan of wing much reduced. Surdick (1985) presents phylogenetic information for the nearctic genera.


Nelson, C. H. 1984. Numerical cladistic analysis of phylogenetic relationships in Plecoptera. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer. 77: 466-473.

Surdick, R. F. 1985. Nearctic genera of Chloroperlinae (Plecoptera: Chloroperlidae). Illinois Biol. Monog. 54: 1-146.

Zwick, P. 1973. Insecta: Plecoptera. Phylogenetisches System und Katalog. Das Tierreich 94. Walter de Gruyter and Co., Berlin. 465 pp.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Sweltsa hondo, Sweltsa coloradensis
Location New Mexico (Sweltsa hondo), Arizona (Sweltsa coloradensis)
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Life Cycle Stage adult (Sweltsa hondo), nymph (Sweltsa coloradensis)
Copyright © 1996
About This Page

C. Riley Nelson
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

Nelson, C. Riley. 1996. Chloroperlidae. Version 01 January 1996 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Chloroperlidae/13954/1996.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

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