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

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

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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Posts: 19
Beardius on Aug 1, 2008August 1st, 2008, 8:53 am EDT
Pteronarcys proteus has abdominal knobs but has a squared off pronotum (no projection of knob). It differs from dorsata in having knobs on the abdominal segments. There is a picture of a young Pteronarcys proteus nymph here: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Pteronarcys+proteus

Pteronarcys comstocki has pronotal projections and a spine-like projection on the anterior mesonotal wingpad. I only found them in one stream (trib of Kettle Creek in central PA) of the dozens I've collected. I have not collected them in MD, but they are reported from WV and PA. There is a photo of an immature nymph here: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20o?search=Pteronarcys+comstocki

Pteronarcys biloba has pronotal projections but no spines on the wingpads. P. biloba is common up north (NY, VT, NH, ME, etc.). The photo above is of P. biloba. Nice photo here: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Pteronarcys+biloba

P. scotti is found in the south (SC,GA, etc.)

I never collected P. dorsata, so I figure it must be in larger or warmer rivers.
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Posts: 1681
GONZO on Oct 28, 2008October 28th, 2008, 7:51 am EDT
I just noticed that this thread was an answer to questions that I raised some time ago in the related thread. Beardius' comments and the links to photos and identifications done by Donald Chandler (Dsc1) are very helpful.

It is now easier to see that this is biloba and that the other specimen (#490) is probably proteus. In addition to the traits that Beardius mentions, the abdominal knob seems to dramatically diminish or disappear after the 7th segment in proteus, but biloba usually has a prominent knob on segment 8. I really don't know how reliable this is, but it seems to be consistent in all of the specimens I have seen.

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