Behavioral responses of Drunella coloradensis nymphs were examined in outdoor experimental stream channels after pH reductions of 7 and 2 pH units below ambient. The severity of pH decline below the ambient of 7.8 influenced the behavior patterns displayed by nymphs. At pH 7.01 (an intermediate pH decline) nymphs sat less frequently and burrowed more than controls. Burrowing behavior frequency returned to control levels and drifting and crawling behaviors increased relative to controls at pH 6.02, Ventilatory behaviors increased with pH decline, but were independent of the severity of acidity increases. These results suggest that individual behaviors may offer a more sensitive indicator of sub-acute stress in aquatic insect communities than population or community monitoring. Behaviors leading to increased activity levels in stream insects may have community-level effects via changes in predator-prey encounter rates or increased susceptibility to passive drift. These potential changes are discussed in reference to monitoring for acidification effects.