Header image
Enter a name
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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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.

Posts: 2
Dsc1 on Oct 25, 2008October 25th, 2008, 1:42 pm EDT
Dave Funk et al. (2008) just reestablished the species of D. cornuta and D. cornutella in a very elegant paper looking at morphological, biological, and molecular evidence. The three species are easily identifiable in New Hampshire. Your photos above seems to be of Drunella cornuta.
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Oct 25, 2008October 25th, 2008, 2:30 pm EDT
Hi Don,

It's great to have you posting here!

There are several ephemerellid species pages that will need updating to reflect very recent work (the Funk et al. paper and the Jacobus/McCafferty revision of the Ephemerellinae). I suspect that Jason has just been too busy with his studies to do that yet.

Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Oct 26, 2008October 26th, 2008, 6:34 am EDT
Yeah, thanks for the updates! Gonzo is right that I'm really tied up with classes right now (in the middle of my busiest semester of grad school) so I haven't been able to keep up, but rest assured that I will carefully comb through all these recent threads and incorporate your corrections when I can.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Last Reply
Sep 5, 2009
by Martinlf
Jun 20, 2011
by Oldredbarn
Oct 4, 2008
Jun 10, 2013
by Oldredbarn
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy