Header image
Enter a name
Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

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.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
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.

GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on May 19, 2007May 19th, 2007, 12:01 pm EDT
Jason,

When I first looked at this specimen, my first instinct was to guess that it was biloba, especially coming from the upper Neversink. But, the more I compare it to the specimen I previously guessed as biloba, the more I see subtle differences. The pronotum is a different shape and the knobs or spines extend further along the abdomen. Perhaps these are variable traits or gender differences, but I'm starting to wonder about both IDs.

Of the Eastern (or transcontinental) species, I'm pretty familiar with dorsata and biloba, and I've seen a few specimens that I'm pretty sure are comstocki. These latter specimens had fearsome-looking long spines along the abdomen and I guessed at the comstocki ID mostly because its nickname is the "spiny salmonfly."

I've seen cladistic diagrams that indicate that scotti is considered to be the closest relative of biloba, but it seems to have a more southerly distribution. (That diagram also seemed to explain why Allonarcys is no longer favored as a separate genus for the Pteronarcys species with spines or knobs.)

I'm not aware of the species descriptions of proteus or pictetii. Until I saw a survey of the Delaware River basin, I assumed that the large unknobbed Pteronarcys that I had seen on the main branch were dorsata (and that's what Ernie S. said they were), but the survey lists only biloba, comstocki, and proteus.

Could someone provide some characters for these other species? It would help to resolve my current confusion and would be greatly appreciated.

Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Topic
Replies
Last Reply
10
Feb 12, 2007
by CaseyP
20
Apr 23, 2013
by Entoman
26
Mar 22, 2013
by Jmd123
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy