Stoneflies, although lacking a pupation stage, have a long-lived adult phase of up to 56 days under laboratory conditions.

Adult stonefly Plecoptera.

Stonefly larvae can be readily collected and transported from the field, depending on the species. Mature stonefly larvae, identified by their darkened wing pads, can be readily sexed and reared to maturity in the laboratory. Studies on some New Zealand stoneflies have shown adults emerge with immature ovaries and functioning mouthparts. Feeding is therefore a prerequisite facilitating ovary development, and ultimately egg production.

Examination of field collected adults has revealed dietary requirements of some Gripopterygidae species include sooty mould. Adult stoneflies can be kept in the laboratory and fed sooty mould and a sucrose solution (see PDF below). However, further investigations into diet may be necessary as ovarian maturation occurred in only a few laboratory reared specimens, possibly indicating a specific dietary requirement was not being met. Little is known about egg laying and selection of oviposition sites, but some adults have ovipositors, suggesting eggs are laid in small cracks and crevices in rock or wood. It may be possible to re-introduce both adults and larvae of the same species, though the reintroduction of eggs, as for mayflies, maybe less successful.

 Interactions of Adult Stoneflies with Riparian Diet

a long, egg-laying organ characteristic of some female caddisflies, stoneflies and mayflies.