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Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Male Malenka tina (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Adult Pictures

This is the smallest stonefly I've ever collected, with a body only 5.5 mm long.

Although not in-focus in my pictures, its first tarsal segment is similar in length to the third, while the second is much shorter. This helps with family-level identification.

Examining this specimen under a microscope shows a membranous lobe on the dorsal base of the cerci, which is the key characteristic in Merritt & Cummins (4th ed.) to place the genus definitively as Malenka.

Following the species key in Jewett Jr's Stoneflies of the Pacific Northwest, the species appears to be Malenka tina. My dissecting microscope seems to show sternite 9 ending in a rounded knob, which distinguishes it from Malenka bifurcata, but the detail is hard to work out.

Also worth noting is that Montana appears to have this species, whereas birfucata is not know there: http://fieldguide.mt.gov/displaySpecies.aspx?family=Nemouridae

This stonefly was collected from the Madison River in Montana on July 1st, 2019 and added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 18th, 2019.

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