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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
Baetis

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 Setvena wahkeena (Perlodidae) (Wahkeena Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
As far as I can tell, this species has only previously been reported from one site in Oregon along the Columbia gorge. However, the key characteristics are fairly unmistakable in all except for one minor detail:
— 4 small yellow spots on frons visible in photos
— Narrow occipital spinule row curves forward (but doesn’t quite meet on stem of ecdysial suture, as it's supposed to in this species)
— Short spinules on anterior margin of front legs
— Short rposterior row of blunt spinules on abdominal tergae, rather than elongated spinules dorsally
I caught several of these mature nymphs in the fishless, tiny headwaters of a creek high in the Wenatchee Mountains.
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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Male Baetis tricaudatus (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Spinner from Silver Creek in Idaho
Some notes from identifying this specimen under the microscope:

1. The hind wing has three longitudinal veins, but the third is faint, short (about half the length of the wing), and close to the wing margin.
2. Then antenna is brown fading into white at the tip, and the base is ringed with white.
3. The joints of the tarsal segments on the middle and hind leg have fine black markings.

It was also collected in association with a female spinner.
Troutnut
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Bellevue, WA

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Troutnut on Nov 6, 2020November 6th, 2020, 3:16 pm EST
Does anyone here know any decent resources for identifying adult Baetis? I haven't found much.

This specimen sure seems to nicely fit the original description of Baetis alius adults. But I can't find very precise descriptions (let alone a key) for flavistriga and tricaudatus, both of which are other likely options given the location.

These made for a good fishable hatch on Silver Creek, so it sure would be nice to know what they are.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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