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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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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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Cheumatopsyche (Little Sister Sedge) Caddisfly Pupa Pictures

I photographed this one recently dead. It's hard to keep caddis pupae alive for very long in a collection container.

This caddisfly was collected from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin on May 18th, 2004 and added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on January 25th, 2006.

Discussions of this Pupa

Can you provide a size for this specimen?
5 replies
Posted by GONZO on Nov 8, 2006
Last reply on Jul 24, 2008 by GONZO
Jason-

I hate to ask you to dig through your specimen vials, but I'm curious to know if you can give a size reference for this one. I've stared at it many times. My first impression was Brachycentrus, but that impression was based entirely on color and markings. I haven't been able to find any definitive keys to verify this id (though I may be missing something).

May 18 does seem a little on the late side for most of the common Eastern/Midwestern Brachycentrus spp. But, we do have a peak emergence of a Micrasema sp. around that time on the Brodheads. This is the reason I was wondering about the size. I also wanted to call attention to this specimen in the hope that Litobrancha, Taxon, or someone else might be able to end my puzzlement.

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Cheumatopsyche (Little Sister Sedge) Caddisfly Pupa Pictures

Collection details
Location: Namekagon River, Wisconsin
Date: May 18th, 2004
Added to site: January 25th, 2006
Author: Troutnut
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