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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

Dorsal view of a Neoleptophlebia (Leptophlebiidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Some characteristics from the microscope images for the tentative species id: The postero-lateral projections are found only on segment 9, not segment 8. Based on the key in Jacobus et al. (2014), it appears to key to Neoleptophlebia adoptiva or Neoleptophlebia heteronea, same as this specimen with pretty different abdominal markings. However, distinguishing between those calls for comparing the lengths of the second and third segment of the labial palp, and this one (like the other one) only seems to have two segments. So I'm stuck on them both. It's likely that the fact that they're immature nymphs stymies identification in some important way.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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Waterton Stripetails

This common name refers to only one species. Click its scientific name to learn more.

Stonefly Species Isoperla fusca

These are very rarely called Waterton Stripetails.
Lateral view of a Female Isoperla fusca (Perlodidae) (Yellow Sally) Stonefly Adult from the Yakima River in Washington
The family ID on this one was a little bit tricky. Just going by the size, shape, and color, it looks like Chloroperlidae. However, the second anal vein of the forewing is does not appear to be forked, and the apical maxillary palpal segment is close to the length of the penultimate segment, both of which rule out that family. The position of the cubitoanal crossvein relative to the anal cell in the forewing -- touching it in this case -- indicates Perlidae (and it really doesn't have the "look" of Perlidae at all), but other characteristics, such as the metathorastic sternacostal sutures and lack of gill remnants, point to Perlodidae. That's the right answer. Moving on to Perlodidae, the key characteristics in Merritt & Cummins lead straightforwarly to Isoperla, and the species key in Jewett 1959 (The Stoneflies of the Pacific Northwest) leads to Isoperla fusca.

There is one caveat: That source does suggest a May-July emergence, whereas this one was collected in mid-September.
Dorsal view of a Isoperla fusca (Perlodidae) (Yellow Sally) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen represents a common find in a late-April sample from the far upper Yakima River. It seems to be the same species as another one I collected previously. Of the species keyed in Szczytko & Stewart 1979, it probably matches Isoperla fusca closest, but there's a good chance it's a species that wasn't in the key. The leg segments have a fringe of fine hairs which is supposed to be absent in Isoperla fusca, and the four dark stripes of the mesonotum and metanotum don't continue as 4 separate stripes on the pronotum as they should in the description of fusca. It's possible fusca is more variable than previously described, or this is a different species not included in that key. It's also worth noting there's definitely no fringe of fine setae on any part of the cerci, just the whorls of little stout ones around segment bases.


Waterton Stripetails

Scientific Name
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