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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 Epeorus albertae (Heptageniidae) (Pink Lady) Mayfly Nymph from the East Fork Issaquah Creek in Washington
This specimen keys to the Epeorus albertae group of species. Of the five species in that group, the two known in Washington state are Epeorus albertae and Epeorus dulciana. Of the two, albertae has been collected in vastly more locations in Washington than dulciana, suggesting it is far more common. On that basis alone I'm tentatively putting this nymph in albertae, with the large caveat that there's no real information to rule out dulciana.
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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Smeador
Smeador's profile picture
Prospect, VA

Posts: 6
Smeador on Mar 16, 2014March 16th, 2014, 7:31 am EDT
#1 - What is the best preservative to use to keep nymphs in vials for long-term collections?

#2 - Anyone using the handheld, digital microscopes to look at these bugs?
Feedback on these please.

Thanks everyone!

SM
Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Mar 16, 2014March 16th, 2014, 10:08 am EDT
Pure ethanol (non-denatured)

Sorry, I don't have any experience with the hand held digital microscopes.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 16, 2014March 16th, 2014, 11:35 am EDT
Welcome to the forum, Smeador.

I agree with Crepuscular, though I prefer something in the 70% range at first if I'm going to inspect them much. They seem to get a little less brittle. The non-denatured stuff is usually hard for amateurs to obtain (depending on where you live and/or who you know). Since it is advisable to stay away from over-the-counter forms of alcohol, you can get by with the strongest clear spirits You can get my hands on. I've got some specimens preserved in Blue Sapphire and kept in the shop refrigerator or freezer that look pretty good after years of storage. The legs don't fall off when I try to move 'em either (I've often joked that the juniper keeps 'em limber). Tried leaving a few in the house refer for awhile, but you can probably guess how that went over... :) The biggest mistake guys make is failing to change out the preservative after a couple of days. Some of the big caddis larvae and stonefly nymphs have to be changed out several times.

I have no experience with handhelds either, but have heard that they have problems with sharpness and depth of field. I'm also not sure they are too practical for really close work like observing minute spine patterns & such.
"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
LowBudget
Afton, NY

Posts: 25
LowBudget on Mar 16, 2014March 16th, 2014, 3:43 pm EDT
I haven't used the handhelds.

But, I have been using a simple platform that you can build that you can place a smartphone, iPod Touch or iPad onto that will then give you dissecting microscope type of magnification. You can then snap a pic.

You can build one for under $10. But, the lenses which cost one dollar can only be bought in quantities of 10 (which I have done) or you can harvest a lens from a laser pointer (which I have not done).

I am working on writing up a set of directions to do this as I am scheduled to present a workshop on it to biology teachers at the end of April. I may have a decent draft document in 10 days or so.

Here's where you can view some pics I've taken with this kind of setup.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/107447394@N07/sets/72157641718340454/

Note: the midge pupa and the damselfly nymphs have spent 8 years in isopropyl alcohol. The other insects were live when photographed.

Ed




Ed
Low Budget Fly Tying and Fishing author of "Behind the Fly"
http://edengelman.com/BTF.html
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 16, 2014March 16th, 2014, 7:34 pm EDT
Sounds intriguing, Ed. Will you share it with us when you're ready?
"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
LowBudget
Afton, NY

Posts: 25
LowBudget on Mar 17, 2014March 17th, 2014, 2:18 am EDT
Yes, I will post when I finish the write-up. One of the images on my Flickr site shows the basic set-up but I know that is not enough to go on. Also, I need to resolve some problems with my own web site.

Well, work beckons.

Until later.

Ed
Ed
Low Budget Fly Tying and Fishing author of "Behind the Fly"
http://edengelman.com/BTF.html
LowBudget
Afton, NY

Posts: 25
LowBudget on Apr 1, 2014April 1st, 2014, 4:47 pm EDT
I just posted in a new topic to the Photography forum on this site a link to directions (in pdf format) on how to build a "Smart-D-Scope" for cell phones, iPods etc.

That is, a DIY dissecting microscope-like thing-er.

Let me know if you build one or would like any clarifications.

Ed
Ed
Low Budget Fly Tying and Fishing author of "Behind the Fly"
http://edengelman.com/BTF.html

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