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Sensitive species not a species after all – how genetics solved the Arapahoe snowfly species mystery

FS News Posted on: February 22, 2019
The Arapahoe snowfly was something of an enigma. This small stonefly, an aquatic insect important to trout and familiar to trout anglers, was thought to be rare and found only in a small area of northern Colorado. This limited presence earned it a Candidate species status under the Endangered Species Act and protections as a Sensitive Species on Forest Service lands. Researchers recently found that the Arapahoe snowfly is actually not a distinct species, but rather a hybrid of two other stonefly species, which has ramifications for its conservation.