AskDefine | Define stonefly

Dictionary Definition

stonefly n : primitive winged insect with a flattened body; used as bait by fishermen; aquatic gilled larvae are carnivorous and live beneath stones [syn: stone fly, plecopteran]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. any insect, of the order Plecoptera, having a flattened body; they are used by fishermen as bait


Extensive Definition

Plecoptera are an order of insects, commonly known as stoneflies. There are some 1,700 recorded species worldwide.
The nymphs are aquatic and live in the benthic zone of lakes and streams. Nymphs of this order are hunters of other aquatic arthropods or shredders of large organic particles, such as leaves. Some also graze on benthic algae. They undergo many molts as aquatic nymphs (10 instars?) before emerging and becoming terrestrial as adults.
The name comes from the Greek pleikein ("braided") and ptera ("wing"). They possess two pairs of wings which are membranous and fold flat over the back. Both nymphs and adults have long paired cerci projecting from the tip of their abdomens.


stonefly in Catalan: Plecòpter
stonefly in Czech: Pošvatky
stonefly in German: Steinfliegen
stonefly in Estonian: Kevikulised
stonefly in Spanish: Plecoptera
stonefly in Persian: بافته‌بالان
stonefly in French: Plecoptera
stonefly in Italian: Plecoptera
stonefly in Georgian: მეგაზაფხულენი
stonefly in Lithuanian: Ankstyvės
stonefly in Hungarian: Álkérészek
stonefly in Dutch: Steenvliegen
stonefly in Japanese: カワゲラ
stonefly in Norwegian: Steinfluer
stonefly in Norwegian Nynorsk: Steinfluger
stonefly in Polish: Widelnice
stonefly in Portuguese: Plecoptera
stonefly in Russian: Веснянки
stonefly in Slovenian: Vrbnice
stonefly in Swedish: Bäcksländor
stonefly in Chinese: 襀翅目
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