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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 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.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Lateral view of a Male Onocosmoecus unicolor (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Adult from the Yakima River in Washington
I first just assumed this was Dicosmoecus based on anglers' conventional wisdom since it's a large orange "October caddis," but Creno set me straight. I should have keyed it out. After another look under the microscope, it lacks an anepisternal wart on the mesopleuron, which rules out Dicosmoecus. The midtibiae have 2 apical spurs and 1 pre-apical spur, and from there the color pattern of the wing points to Onocosmoecus. The location then narrows the species to unicolor.
Grants Pass, OR

Posts: 302
Creno on Sep 19, 2020September 19th, 2020, 9:19 am EDT
Onocosmoecus unicolor?
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Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Sep 19, 2020September 19th, 2020, 10:19 am EDT
Didn't mean one thing and write another -- you caught me assuming the genus based on angler-entomology instead of keying it out. Oops! After closer inspection under the microscope, of course you're right.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Grants Pass, OR

Posts: 302
Creno on Sep 20, 2020September 20th, 2020, 7:19 am EDT
Interesting that the western angling lit has Dicosmoecus as orange. Within the Dicosmoecinae only Onocosmoecus is orange, the rest are dark greys to blacks when alive and, like Onocosmoecus, often faded to browns when pinned. Amphicosmoecus could be considered orangish on some speciemens but the wings are typically more grey/brown with a reddish tint, and finely speckled. Onocosmoecus unicolor is one of those very widespread species that further study will likely reveal are comprised of several species. But not to worry, it probably won't happen soon :-) I forgot to mention - thanks for the great pics.

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