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.
Your Ephemerella X looks an awful lot like this guy, who I formerly had placed in a couple different species but have put with Ephemerella needhami now after Gonzo made a convincing case for it. I'm guessing the X is needhami, at least for the specimen you pictured. The one I photographed on the Delaware was a small 16 or large 18, but that's within the range of variation for a single species at different places/times.
Jason, that sure looks like it. But... I thought needhami were very dark, with blackish wings -similar to S. deficiens. That's as I remember it. Could well be wrong.
Though your photo could very well be needhami, it looks like it could also be an eastern excrucians. Do you remember Gonzo's rationale? I looked for it on the hatch page but only found from my quick scan a conversation about another family. Gonzo didn't participate as far as I could tell.
PS I started to post yesterday that I thought your bug was needhami and pulled the post after a half hour or so...I had sent an email up to Gates' about a so-called "Dark Henrickson they had listed on their Hatch Chart...They wrote me back it was the web masters typo...I started to doubt myself and yanked the post. I was having doubts due to its size...
Considerable confusion has existed regarding this species; it has been misidentified as excrucians Wlsh. by Needham and, to complicate matters, its nymph has been misassociated with bispina Needh. which belongs in another section of the genus.
C&N's Hatches described them as "dark grey almost black." I'm convinced that the latter description is based on a misidentification because C&N's color photo, captioned "Ephemerella needhami, male dun," appears to be a Eurylophella dun.
I'd sure like to hear your thoughts on the differences between needhami and the eastern variation of excrucians. Also on the separate issue of Paul's X dun, i.e. subvaria, invaria or neither?
Using angler entomologies as the basis for id's without extensive cross referencing can lead to a lot of confusion.
It can lead to a lot of confusion even with extensive cross-referencing. :)
I thought the others were all whitetail bucks.:)
However, I doubt I'd confuse them with deficiens (Tellagnopsis/Seratlella) duns, as I felt they were easy to recognize with their small size and compact bodies.
All of those species (including the inermis version of excrucians) are described as having darkened tail articulations in Allen and Edmunds (1965). I have seen E. needhami and T. deficiens (duns) whose tail markings were faint to almost nonexistent. I don't have enough personal experience with E. excrucians to comment beyond what I read in the literature.
I do remember collecting some needhami nymphs, with their longitudinal stripes and am quite sure I had some in my stream tank at one time. Now I'm wondering of THOSE were excrucians or needhami. I was keying nymphs out at the time and, unless the key wasn't up to date then, or I missed something, decided on needhami.
Thanks, Spence. That explains the mystery of the disappearing posts. :)
No, I think you were right in the first place, odds are 99% those were needhami. Could they have been aurivillii? Much rarer and bigger bug back East I think.
Guys, I looked closely at the hind wings from Jason's images of needhami and invaria and my image and the Needhami hindwing is more pointed and the invaria and my bug have more rounded hind wings. Dunno if that means anything, and the aspect of my image is not the same as Jason's perfect side views.