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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

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

Dorsal view of a Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
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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Dave_K has attached these 2 pictures to aid in identification. The message is below.
Dave_K
Posts: 6
Dave_K on Jul 1, 2008July 1st, 2008, 4:05 pm EDT
These dragonflys hatch after the mayflys on Grindstone Lake near Hayward, Wisconsin, and feed on them. These photos were taken June 25, 2008. Cany you identify them? Thanks, .....Dave
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 1, 2008July 1st, 2008, 6:40 pm EDT
Dave,

I'll take a guess, but I'm not good at dragonfly IDs. The pretty one at the top looks like a gomphid (Clubtail), but I have no idea which one. The less pretty one that is emerging looks an aeshnid (Darner). I'd suggest waiting for another opinion from someone who knows their Anisoptera.
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Jul 2, 2008July 2nd, 2008, 12:31 am EDT
Strange, I took this dragonfly photo on June 12th, 2008 just about 30 miles north of you. Looks like the same bug.


Dave_K
Posts: 6
Dave_K on Jul 2, 2008July 2nd, 2008, 4:08 pm EDT
They're actually the same. The one emerging just hadn't filled out yet. They emerge in such large numbers the air is full of them, all around the lake. I watched the nymphs swimming into shore and climbing out on several mornings. I collected a few for bait, and took several very large 'gills and pumpkinseed. It seems as long as the brown drakes are hatching, these are too.
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 2, 2008July 2nd, 2008, 8:41 pm EDT
They're actually the same. The one emerging just hadn't filled out yet.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean, Dave. Are you saying that you think the top photo and the second photo are the same dragonfly species?

Although I'm not great at identifying dragonflies, I'm pretty sure they are not. One way fairly easy way that you can tell is by looking at the eyes. The eyes of most dragonfly species touch in the middle. That trait is most pronounced in the Aeshnidae, and their very large eyes form a seam where they meet. That was the main reason that I suggested that your emerging dragonfly might be in that family. (John's dragonfly is probably in the same family as yours, but I can't say if it might be same genus/species.) Beyond that, judging the genus/species of a teneral (freshly emerged) dragonfly gets a bit tricky because the color and markings that help to distinguish most adults aren't fully developed yet. In that sense, you are quite right that it hasn't filled out yet.

The dragonfly at the top, however, has smaller eyes that are much further apart. This is a trait of two common families, the Gomphidae and the Petaluridae (Petaltails). The pattern on the body of the dragonfly in the top photo looks much more like most gomphids than most petalurids to me, and that is why I suggested Gomphidae as the likely family.

Aeshnids and gomphids are very different in other ways. Gomphids tend to be stream and river dwellers. Although the dragonfly in the top photo might have come from the lake, it could also have come from a stream, and was just visiting the lake to feed.

Sorry, but when I said that I'm not good at dragonflies, I didn't mean to imply that I don't know anything about them. It's just that there are some outstanding professional aquatic entomologists who frequent this site, and I was hoping that one of them could tell you much more than I can. Taking your dragonflies to the family level is about the best that I could attempt with my limited knowledge, and I'm not sure that I have it right. But, I am as sure as I know how to be that they do belong to very different families.

Best wishes,
Gonzo
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Jul 2, 2008July 2nd, 2008, 10:57 pm EDT
I'm not sure I understand what you mean, Dave. Are you saying that you think the top photo and the second photo are the same dragonfly species?


Gonzo, he is saying he agrees with me that my dragonfly photo and his second dragonfly photo look to be the same species.
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 3, 2008July 3rd, 2008, 4:32 am EDT
Thanks, John. That was my first interpretation as well. But then, because both your specimen and his are emerging, my second thought was that Dave must have been referring to his first and second photos. My apologies to both of you for droning on; I probably should have let well-enough alone.
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Jul 3, 2008July 3rd, 2008, 5:55 am EDT
Gonzo, I am always happy to read your input.

Happy 4th!! I will be chasing those spotted fishies in my inflatable pontoon boat. If I don't loose my rod & reel and I don't fall in it should be a blast!
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 3, 2008July 3rd, 2008, 9:59 am EDT
Happy 4th to you, John! And happy finning in the new boat...umm, I mean...you did buy a pair of fins to go with your boat, didn't you? Fins are really the ticket on stillwaters. And Scotty makes a nice adjustable fly-rod-holder for pontoon boats. You can even use it for trolling if you're feeling lazy. (Just thought you might need another excuse to go to Cabela's!) :)
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Jul 3, 2008July 3rd, 2008, 12:32 pm EDT
I have oars and some crappy fins. I did get a Scotty rod holder, but it still worries me about loosing a rod and reel in the water. I figure I will start with a rod I got from the St. Croix's outlet store in Park Falls, WI. They have some great graphite fly rods for low prices and I cannot find the flaw in them. At least if I dump one of those rods over board it will not hurt as much, but the reel will still be a dreadful loss.

I don't think I will be trolling a big Hex. wiggle nymph. :)
Dejackson
Chaseburg, WI

Posts: 1
Dejackson on Apr 26, 2012April 26th, 2012, 7:00 pm EDT
As was previously suggested, the top is a teneral (freshly emerged) clubtail. Based on the markings on segment 10, possibly a Lancet or Ashy. The second picture shows a dragonfly that is just emerging. It only has a single stripe on the thorax and is therefore a cruiser. Probably a Stream Cruiser. The exuvae (nymph skin) has really long legs which also fit that ID.

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