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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 Grammotaulius betteni (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This is a striking caddis larva with an interesting color pattern on the head. Here are some characteristics I was able to see under the microscope, but could not easily expose for a picture:
- The prosternal horn is present.
- The mandible is clearly toothed, not formed into a uniform scraper blade.
- The seems to be only 2 major setae on the ventral edge of the hind femur.
- Chloride epithelia seem to be absent from the dorsal side of any abdominal segments.
Based on these characteristics and the ones more easily visible from the pictures, this seems to be Grammotaulius. The key's description of the case is spot-on: "Case cylindrical, made of longitudinally arranged sedge or similar leaves," as is the description of the markings on the head, "Dorsum of head light brownish yellow with numerous discrete, small, dark spots." The spot pattern on the head is a very good match to figure 19.312 of Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019). The species ID is based on Grammotaulius betteni being the only species of this genus known in Washington state.
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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Identification: Key to Species of Drunella Nymphs, Couplet 8

Identification: Key to Species of Drunella Nymphs, Couplet 8

Option 1Option 2
Frontoclypeal projections are short (approximately as long as their width at the base), not curved, and do not protrude anteriorly from the surface of the frontoclypeus (Funk et al. 2008)Frontoclypeal projections are about twice as long as wide (extending to anywhere from just before the margin of the frontoclypeus to well beyond it), conical (or curved), and protrude anteriorly from the surface of the frontoclypeus (Funk et al. 2008)
Median ocellar tubercle (red box) and frontoclypeal projections (green boxes)
Median ocellar tubercle (red box) and frontoclypeal projections (green boxes) Figure from this Drunella cornuta nymph.
Femora with few or no long, fine setae on posterior margin (McCafferty et al 2017)Femora with dense row of long, fine setae on posterior margin (McCafferty et al 2017)
Remaining species: Drunella cornuta, Drunella cornutella, and Drunella longicornis
3 Example Specimens
Drunella lata Go to Couplet 11
The current couplet is highlighted with darker colors and a icon, and couplets leading to this point have a icon.
Leads to Couplet 2:
  • Western North American species
Couplet 2
Leads to Couplet 7:
  • Eastern North American species
Couplet 7
Leads to Couplet 3:
  • Abdominal sterna with prominent friction disc of setae
Couplet 3
Leads to Couplet 4:
  • Abdominal sterna without prominent friction disc of setae (although felt-like coating of setae may be present)
Couplet 4
Leads to Drunella doddsii:
  • Forefemur with margins toothed
Leads to Drunella pelosa:
  • Forefemur with margins smooth
Leads to Couplet 5:
  • Forefemur with margins with prominent teeth
  • Prosternum with no anterior projection
Couplet 5
Leads to Couplet 6:
  • Forefemur with margins mostly smooth
  • Prosternum with prominent anterior projection
Couplet 6
Leads to Drunella coloradensis:
  • Abdominal terga with paired, narrow spines
Leads to Drunella flavilinea:
  • Abdominal terga with paired, broadly triangular spines
Leads to Drunella spinifera:
  • Abdominal terga 8 and 9 with paired spines more than twice the length of spines on preceding segments
Leads to Drunella grandis:
  • Abdominal terga 8 and 9 with paired spines clearly less than twice the length of preceding pairs
Leads to Couplet 8:
  • Abdomen without paired dorsal tubercles, but may have paired ridges
  • Head smooth, without paired occipital tubercles (pictured yellow box)
Couplet 8
Leads to Couplet 10:
  • Abdomen with paired dorsal tubercles, always well-developed on segments 5-7
  • Head roughened, with paired occipital tubercles, or with small to large paired occipital tubercles
Couplet 10
Couplet 8

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Couplet 8 (You are here)
Leads to Drunella lata:
  • Frontoclypeal projections are short (approximately as long as their width at the base), not curved, and do not protrude anteriorly from the surface of the frontoclypeus (Funk et al. 2008)
  • Femora with few or no long, fine setae on posterior margin (McCafferty et al 2017)
Leads to Couplet 11:
  • Frontoclypeal projections are about twice as long as wide (extending to anywhere from just before the margin of the frontoclypeus to well beyond it), conical (or curved), and protrude anteriorly from the surface of the frontoclypeus (Funk et al. 2008)
  • Femora with dense row of long, fine setae on posterior margin (McCafferty et al 2017)
Couplet 11
Leads to Drunella tuberculata:
  • Has a row of long, hairlike setae along the margin of the clypeus
  • More robust, less flattened general appearance
  • Almost always has a pair of prominent, paired, stout, suboccipital spines
Leads to Drunella walkeri:
  • Lacks a row of long, hairlike setae on the clypeus
  • Usually a very flattened general appearance
  • Sometimes has only small bumps, other times more prominent suboccipital spines
Leads to Drunella allegheniensis:
  • Larvae have short, marginal, hairlike setae on the heads, legs, and tergites
  • No long setae protruding dorsally from tergites 8 and 9
  • Relatively many denticles on tarsal claws, and positioned along the length of the claw
Leads to Couplet 9:
  • Marginal setae not well developed on the heads, legs, and tergites
  • Long setae protrude dorsally from the anterior margins of tergites 8 and 9
  • Relatively few denticles on tarsal claws, positioned basally
Couplet 9
Leads to Drunella longicornis:
  • Foretibial projections long and distinctly curved
  • Relatively uncommon; species status not 100 % certain
Leads to Couplet 12:
  • Foretibial projections not developed as above
  • Relatively widespread and common
Couplet 12
Leads to Drunella cornuta:
  • Mature nymph 7.8-11.4 mm long (Funk et al. 2008)
  • Median ocellar tubercle sharp and relatively long (red box)
  • Lateral frontoclypeal projections usually semilunar (green boxes above)
  • Middle and hind tibiae relatively long (Funk et al. 2008)
Leads to Drunella cornutella:
  • Mature nymph 6.4-8.5 mm long (Funk et al. 2008)
  • Median ocellar tubercle blunt to moderately sharp and relatively short
  • Lateral frontoclypeal projections moderately curved to straight
  • Middle and hind tibiae relatively short (Funk et al. 2008)

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References

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