Entomology (Study of Bugs)/aquatic macroinvertebrates and streamside flora
QUESTION: When those AMIs that go to trees or bushes to molt or propagate do so, do they choose trees or bushes particular to their species or order? I'm an angler and primarily interested in mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies.
ANSWER: These insects spend most of their lives as larvae in water. Stonefly larvae (Plecoptera) spend 2-3 years in the water. Adults never go far from the water and after mating lay eggs in the water
Caddisfly larvae(TRicoptera) spend a year in the a water and when adults emerge they hide by day and will seek light at night to mate, then return to water to lay eggs
Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) spend up to 4 years on the bottom of the lake then emerge and mate in flight and live as few hours to a few days. I once observed a small white Mayfly in Lake Erie. The adults merge everyday about 6 pm. They never fly over land. The male grabs a female and crushes her fertilizing the eggs and they both die and fall back into the water. This the adults live a few minutes. None of these insects seek trees to mate
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QUESTION: Thank you for your response. I cannot rule out that no fertilization goes on over land, but certainly the mayfly and caddis species seem overwhelmingly to want to mate over water. But these two species in particular definitely do molt stream side (stoneflies will often do some if not all molting on rocks in the stream). I'm still searching for an answer about species preferences for certain kinds of trees and bushes.
I know of no reason why insects search for specific plants unless they feed on them. and most of the flies you mention have no mouth parts as adults.
Most mayflies mate over land and return to the water. Lake Erie is famous for Mayflies (Canadian Soldiers ) The small species I mentioned does not.. I observed them on Put in Bay Ohio. When they emerge White Bass congregate and if you put anything white on a hook you catch a white bass