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.
RyanBednar on Apr 26, 2010April 26th, 2010, 3:42 am EDT
This is my first post on here... been lurking (and learning) for some time now, but over the past year or so, I've been taking photos of insects that I've been finding on my favorite wild stream here in NC. It's been enlightening to see progression of species throughout the 4 seasons.
Anyways, I've come across a few insects that I have yet to identify... was wondering if you guys might be able to help...
Taxon on Apr 26, 2010April 26th, 2010, 5:41 am EDT
Welcome to the forum. Just a bit of advice: Take a jar lid with you next time. It needs to be white inside to provide a proper background for your photos. Just set it on a level surface. Place the insect inside it, add a sufficient amount of water to completely cover the insect, and then take your photos. This will result in ever-so-much better results for purposes of identification, as the body appendages will no longer stick to the body and one another. Incidentally, for hand held photos, they sure are in good focus and have a lot of resolution. What camera/lens are you using?
GONZO on Apr 26, 2010April 26th, 2010, 5:54 am EDT
The top photo is Ephemerella. It might be subvaria or invaria. E. subvaria (Hendrickson) emerges earlier, but you'd have to take a very close look at the little twin projections at the rear edge of the dorsal abdominal segments to differentiate them. (These are usually slightly more prominent and black-tipped in subvaria, but interpreting the projections can be tricky.)
The middle photo is Pteronarcys (Giant Black Stoneflies/Salmonflies). Judging from the shape of the pronotum and the configuration of the lateral spines along the abdomen, it is probably Pteronarcys proteus, the Appalachian Salmonfly.
The last photo is Cinygmula (Heptageniidae). The little bumps on the side of the head just ahead of the eyes are mouthparts that project to the sides. I believe that C. subaequalis is the only Eastern species of this genus.
Other examples of all of these can be found among Jason's specimens.
RyanBednar on Apr 26, 2010April 26th, 2010, 7:39 am EDT
Thanks for the great info!
Taxon - Thanks for the photo tips, I've been trying to figure out a good background for identification purposes... the jar lid is a great idea... effective and doesn't take up much space in my pack. My camera is a Olympus StylusTough 8000 waterproof point-and-shoot. Overall I've been very happy with the quality and versatility of the camera. I shoot most of these photos in the "Super Macro" preset. It takes a few shots to find the right focal distance and keeping my shadow out of the pictures, but it works pretty well.
Gonzo - Good to know that distinguishing invaria and subvaria can be tricky... I'll take a white lid out next time as Taxon suggested and I'll see if I can get a little more detailed photos of those projections.
Cool to know that there are some Salmonflies on my favorite stream... of course the Golden Stones grossly outnumber them from my samples, but I've already decided to add a few big black stonefly nymphs for my box as well.
The Cinygmula I found recently were very striking in their markings... I haven't seen many of them, which seems consistent with the info here on Jason's site. It's just nice to see how much diversity (and relative abundance) this stream offers...
Thanks again for the info and warm welcome. I look forward to learning and participating on the forums more often.