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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

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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Byhaugh
Hawaii

Posts: 56
Byhaugh on Jan 13, 2014January 13th, 2014, 4:46 pm EST
Hi,
Have only seen a few of these out West in Eastern Idaho, not far from Yellowstone Park on the Henry's Fork.

Is this an Epeorus Pleuralis???

Here is the bug:

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Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Jan 13, 2014January 13th, 2014, 8:24 pm EST
Hi Byron-

As can be seen: Epeorus pleuralis is limited to NE and SE N. America distribution. I believe this male imago to be Epeorus grandis, which is present in Idaho.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jan 14, 2014January 14th, 2014, 4:14 am EST
nice mayfly!
Byhaugh
Hawaii

Posts: 56
Byhaugh on Jan 14, 2014January 14th, 2014, 10:16 am EST
Couldn't possibly be a heptagenia as in the Pale Evening Dun common name?
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jan 14, 2014January 14th, 2014, 12:40 pm EST
Byron -

I wouldn't rule out Heptagenia just yet. For the reasons Taxon stated, this is definitely not a Gordon Quill. We can probably rule out western Epeorus species for other reasons. They (Epeorus) have contiguous eyes (or nearly so), and most importantly lack a transverse mesonotal suture. The costal crossveins usually have some rearward slant to them and are usually paler pigmented. Leg maculation shown in your photo is problematic as well. I have an idea but it would be very helpful if you could provide size and date with your ID requests. Do you (hopefully) remember?

"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Byhaugh
Hawaii

Posts: 56
Byhaugh on Jan 14, 2014January 14th, 2014, 4:16 pm EST
It was July 6, 2013. It was mid-morning. It was on the Madison, just upstream of the confluence with Westfork. Was a bright sunny day. Insect was a size 13 or 14.

I originally said the Henry's Fork, but checked and it was the Madison.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jan 15, 2014January 15th, 2014, 1:07 am EST
Very helpful, thanks. Can't quite make out the type of curvature of the mesonotal lateroparapsidal sutures (near the curved brown lines running horizontally along the top of the thorax) so there are several genera that can't be eliminated with meso suture characters alone. However, I think your second idea is probably the right one. Time of year, coupled with size and location make me think of a couple of species of Heptagenia known locally as Ginger Quills or Pale Evening Duns. Unfortunately, color is not necessarily the best way to tell the species apart, as some can be lighter or darker depending on many things. PED works better with paler and more yellowish varieties, so I'll go with Ginger Quill.:) Here's an example of a Heptagenia specimen very similar to yours. http://www.troutnut.com/specimen/1054

I believe I have fished this spinner fall before but it has been many years. From what I remember, it was a cinnamon looking critter with kind of a pearlescent look to the middle terga (abdominal segments). The legs, cloudy grey stigmatic region (upper leading edge) of the fore wings and pale speckled tails look right too. Is that what they looked like in the hand to you? Bugs look different in blown up pictures...:)

PS. Since you weren't boating through quickly, did you notice any of the duns hatching, mixed with those spinners? Was the spinner fall lengthy and/or prolific?
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Byhaugh
Hawaii

Posts: 56
Byhaugh on Jan 15, 2014January 15th, 2014, 9:38 am EST
Entoman,
Thanks for the analysis.
It was the only insect like it that I noticed that day. Sort of a loner.
There were swarming caddis all over and that is what we were using and catching with.
Thanks again.
I did not know that there were Ginger Quills around there.
If you don't mind, what is the latin name for a ginger quill?
Would it be the S. heteratarsale spinner?

Thanks
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jan 15, 2014January 15th, 2014, 11:38 pm EST
You're welcome, Byron.

Yes, we have many mayfly species commonly referred to as Ginger Quills out West. There are also many back East. Your other question has no answer as there is no direct correlation between the Latin and the common. The reason for this is while scientific names are predicated on the identification of a particular species, common names are applied on the basis of appearance and vary by region. Individual common names are applied to multiple species with similar appearance. Conversely, many individual species have multiple common names to cover their various different looking forms.

Also, the eastern inhabiting Stenonema heterotarsale was synonymized with Stenacron interpunctatum quite some time ago and is no longer a valid species name. Interpunctatum now contains many different appearing forms once thought to be separate species. The list of common names in current use for it does include Ginger Quill and Yellow Quill among others but most popular are derivatives of Cahill, i.e. Summer Cahill, Light Cahill, Pale Cahill, Cream Cahill, etc., etc...
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Byhaugh
Hawaii

Posts: 56
Byhaugh on Jan 16, 2014January 16th, 2014, 8:56 am EST
Someone else said it is Epeorus Albertae????
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jan 16, 2014January 16th, 2014, 9:52 am EST
Whoever said that is wrong, Byron.

As I mentioned earlier, Epeorus species have eyes that meet in the middle and smooth mesonotums. It is a little difficult to make out but your specimen has space between its eyes and a transverse mesonotal suture. Albertae (Pink Lady, Yellow Quill, etc.) has additional features that rule it out. Check out this example: http://www.troutnut.com/specimen/926
Besides smaller size and pale cross veins, notice the banded femora and thick black humeral vein? It looks like a small black dot on the lower leading edge of the wings.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman

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