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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

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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Dorsal view of a Cordulegaster (Cordulegastridae) Dragonfly Nymph from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
This is a realy big, dark dragonfly nymph. Notice how "fuzzy" it is--it's covered with small hairs that collect sediment and debris and camouflage the nymph to match its natural surroundings. The greenish cast in some of the photos of this specimen is due to strange lighting during my first night photographing things for this site.
IanB
Posts: 3
IanB on May 4, 2009May 4th, 2009, 8:36 am EDT
I have screened through the images on this site, and I am just having a big trouble identifying this bug I have pulled of a stone in my local river.

It is very large, maybe size 10 or slightly larger, I have found other size 14 bugs of the same shape/style (also in the picture but difficult to see) and when I came across this monster I had to know what I had found. Also, after finding very similar nymphs that are size 14, can this one actually be a dragonfly? Is it just a monster of the 'normal' brown drake? Or hendrickson hatch I have heard about on this stream?

The real issue, is that I don't see a 'normal' set of twin tails, or three tails. (again not the technical term) what I do see (on the smaller and larger bug) is almost like a large paddle, and it uses this vertical paddle to swim in the water. The head is extremely flat, and it has two small antenna (like the dragonfly photo's) and two very small barbed jaw-like protrusions below the antenna and below the eye's where the mouth would be. The back appears to have two sets of wings, (neither have fully emerged) and the eye's are very similar to the dragonfly eye's in the photo's here. Also there is almost no color at all to the fly, it is a very dark mud brown/black. It looks about the same color as all the flies I pull out of the river (except the neon green caddis). Not sure if that is just a characteristic of the river, or the bug (the color that is)

One thing that is not the same, is the abdomen (bulbous in shape in the photo's on this site) does not appear to be the same as the example I have. The bug I have has a tapered abdomen going back to this 'paddle' I mentioned earlier.

More 'macro' photo's tonight when I get home, these are crappy cell phone pics for now.

Thank you for any help!
IB



https://stillmaninteriors.sslpowered.com/Images/bug.jpg

Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on May 4, 2009May 4th, 2009, 9:29 am EDT
Ian-
Your photo is sufficient to determine the specimen is not a dragonfly nymph, as the abdomen outline is not right for a dragonfly, nor does a dragonfly have tail-like gills. Rather, it is a damselfly nymph (with a rather stout abdomen) of family Coenagrionidae, probably of genus Argia.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
IanB
Posts: 3
IanB on May 5, 2009May 5th, 2009, 2:40 am EDT
Wow, I am so surprised you are able to identify it with such a poor picture!

In anycase as promised here is a better picture (although I must say it is a bit worse for wear after a day in a plastic container). But hopefully this will confirm the damselfly nymph theory posted below.

https://stillmaninteriors.sslpowered.com/Images/DSCN2178.JPG

https://stillmaninteriors.sslpowered.com/Images/DSCN2179.JPG

https://stillmaninteriors.sslpowered.com/Images/DSCN2180.JPG
Creno
Grants Pass, OR

Posts: 302
Creno on Feb 8, 2017February 8th, 2017, 8:18 am EST
This popped up in the trail with Mill Creek's damselflies. Clearly this is a dragonfly not Argia. These trails are great as they allow us to correct errors over time.
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Feb 8, 2017February 8th, 2017, 10:24 am EST
Hi Dave-

In the interest of clarification, the paddle-tailed damselfly nymph, which I believed to be of family Coenagrionidae, probably of genus Argia nearly eight years ago, was not the dragonfly nymph which appears at the top of this thread. But rather, the photo was located at https://stillmaninteriors.sslpowered.com/Images/bug.jpg, but seemingly no longer is. :-)
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Creno
Grants Pass, OR

Posts: 302
Creno on Feb 10, 2017February 10th, 2017, 4:48 am EST
Okee Dokee then - sorry for not paying attention :-) When did you move to TX? you can PM if you want.
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Feb 10, 2017February 10th, 2017, 8:49 am EST
Hi Dave-

No problem. My wife (to whom I had been married for over 51 years) passed away in May of 2016. So in August of 2016, I moved to TX to live with my son and his family.

Best regards,
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com

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