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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Dorsal view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen appears to be of the same species as this one collected in the same spot two months earlier. The identification of both is tentative. This one suffered some physical damage before being photographed, too, so the colors aren't totally natural. I was mostly photographing it to test out some new camera setting idea, which worked really well for a couple of closeups.
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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Mayfly Species Paraleptophlebia californica

Species Range

Physical description

Most physical descriptions on Troutnut are direct or slightly edited quotes from the original scientific sources describing or updating the species, although there may be errors in copying them to this website. Such descriptions aren't always definitive, because species often turn out to be more variable than the original describers observed. In some cases, only a single specimen was described! However, they are useful starting points.

Male Spinner

Body length: 8 mm
Wing length: 8 mm

A rather pale reddish brown species.

Head reddish brown; median carina and bases of antennae yellow. An oblique black line on each side of the face. Thorax reddish; mesonotum bright reddish brown. Mid-dorsal line of prothorax black; posterior margin white. Sternum and pleural sutures yellow with reddish brown marginings. Legs pale yellowish white; femora tinged with yellow. Wings hyaline. Longitudinal veins of the costal border yellowish; all others pale, except at extreme base, which are yellow. Stigmatic cross veins simple, curved, a few forked near the costal margin.

Segment 1 of abdomen largely opaque; 2-7 semi-hyaline; pale yellowish brown with smoky markings. Tergites 6 and 7, and segments 8-10, opaque reddish brown. Posterior margins of all segments smoky brown, this band darkest in the postero-lateral angles. Two oblique streaks on each side of each tergite, from the antero-lateral and postero-lateral angles. Mid-dorsal line pale, bordered by purplish submedian streaks. A dark line on the pleural fold.

Genitalia golden brown; tips of penes purplish brown. Forceps widened gradually toward the base. Penes separated by a rounded notch, into which projects a short blunt process from each division of the penes. Reflexed spur widest at base, its tip acute (see fig. 134). Tails pale smoky, darker at base.

Start a Discussion of Paraleptophlebia californica


  • Needham, James G., Jay R. Traver, and Yin-Chi Hsu. 1935. The Biology of Mayflies. Comstock Publishing Company, Inc.

Mayfly Species Paraleptophlebia californica

Species Range
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