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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.

Lateral view of a Clostoeca disjuncta (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one was surprisingly straightforward to identify. The lack of a sclerite at the base of the lateral hump narrows the field quite a bit, and the other options followed fairly obvious characteristics to Clostoeca, which only has one species, Clostoeca disjuncta.
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.

Lateral view of a Female Drunella doddsii (Ephemerellidae) (Western Green Drake) Mayfly Dun from the Gulkana River in Alaska
I still haven't got my good camera gear set up, but I wanted to get my first Alaskan bug specimen online, so I photographed this one with my point+shoot in the raft.
Troutnut
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Troutnut on Jul 19, 2007July 19th, 2007, 8:19 am EDT
Which one is this? It's from a south-central Alaskan river.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
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Konchu
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Konchu on Jul 19, 2007July 19th, 2007, 9:37 am EDT
doddsii???
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GONZO on Jul 20, 2007July 20th, 2007, 5:49 am EDT
Beautiful Western green drake, Jason. Nice job with the point-and-shoot!

Konchu, is there any relatively easy way to distinguish between the duns of doddsii and those of grandis? I've read that the middle and rear femora are narrower in the nymphs of grandis and its subspecies when compared to the rather consistent width of doddsii femora. Can this difference be detected in the duns? (I'm asking because Eastern D. lata duns seem to have relatively fat forefemora, reflecting the nymphs in a subtle, but detectable way.)
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Konchu on Jul 21, 2007July 21st, 2007, 11:19 am EDT
Duns are always a bit of a crap-shoot. And really, one shouldn't even try with females [I won't go any further with this statement, as both my wife and sister are in the room].

That being said, however, my *guess* about Jason's photo, made whilst I was sitting squarely on my keister at home, was based on the short tails. I seem to remember seeing shorter tails on doddsii than on grandis and its questionable subspecies, or on one of the other common western Drunella, coloradensis. Flavilinea tends to be a less robust dun or spinner, at least in the very few winged specimens I've seen. Pelosa is much less common and also not so robust.

The size and shape of femora might be different between Drunella species in the dun stage, but I can't say for sure without checking specimens. Often, it is the case that remnants of some nymphal characteristics can be seen on the duns.
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GONZO on Jul 21, 2007July 21st, 2007, 3:46 pm EDT
Thanks, Konchu. I won't touch your great line about the females of the species, but I can't resist biting on the "questionable subspecies" comment. More distinctions without a difference?

PS--Don't most freshly emerged duns have rather limp, somewhat shortish (?) tails?
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Konchu on Jul 22, 2007July 22nd, 2007, 2:34 am EDT
good point about the tails. not sure how much change takes place in their length, to be honest. are you making a case for grandis, rather than doddsii?
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GONZO on Jul 22, 2007July 22nd, 2007, 3:10 am EDT
Not at all, Konchu. My experience with Western Drunella is nil, so I'm just trying to learn a little more about them. Now, about those questionable subspecies . . . . ;)
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Konchu on Jul 22, 2007July 22nd, 2007, 5:21 am EDT
Honestly, I learned awhile back that I don't know what I'm talking about more than half the time I open my mouth or touch the keyboard. When I think I know what I'm talking about, Mother Nature throws a curve.

I say questionable on the subspp of Drunella simply because I haven't been able to sort it all out yet. Questionable doesn't mean invalid; it just means I think it is something that should be viewed critically, with some skepticism, to try and sort out.

Gonzo, you've made me think about some things I hadn't spent much time considering before, so thanks.

Looks like we've succeeded into turning this thread into yet another very public private discussion. :)
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GONZO on Jul 22, 2007July 22nd, 2007, 6:02 am EDT
Konchu, you battle-scarred old lumper you, I hope you don't mind my efforts to draw every bit of knowledge out of you that I can. An initiate to the perplexing world of entomology/taxonomy could easily get the impression that the Linnaean system is just a clever scam to keep entomologists busy and fly fishers guessing! :) Seriously, I truly appreciate your honesty and humility, and I can identify with everything that you said. I really value your willingness to participate here.

Looks like we've succeeded in turning this thread into yet another very public private discussion! :)

Yeah, as Roger has pointed out before, I seem to have a knack for that. One would think that at my age I would have learned a little more discretion. But nooo . . . . :)
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Troutnut on Jul 23, 2007July 23rd, 2007, 5:58 am EDT
Looks like we've succeeded into turning this thread into yet another very public private discussion.


Those are the best kind!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Taxon
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Taxon on Jul 23, 2007July 23rd, 2007, 9:17 am EDT
doddsii???
http://mypage.iu.edu/~lmjacobu/mayfly.html


Konchu-

Were you able to see something in the photos that would rule out its being Drunella grandis grandis?
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
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Konchu on Jul 23, 2007July 23rd, 2007, 10:05 am EDT
At this point, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of this being D. grandis.


Here's a scary thought: are those lateral filaments shorter than the middle one? Can't quite tell in some of the images.
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Taxon on Jul 23, 2007July 23rd, 2007, 12:29 pm EDT
Here's a scary thought: are those lateral filaments shorter than the middle one? Can't quite tell in some of the images.


I doubt it, but if so, Jason would likely have noticed. However, if you are concerned whether or not the lateral filaments were shorter than the terminal filament, does that mean you aren't yet entirely comfortable ruling out Caudatella?
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
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Konchu on Jul 23, 2007July 23rd, 2007, 1:06 pm EDT
awful chunky for Caudatella, but the generally golden color with darker underparts reminds me of some that don't have the lateral tails all that much shorter than the median one.

...what am i doing wasting all this time on a female dun??????????
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Taxon on Jul 23, 2007July 23rd, 2007, 1:22 pm EDT
...what am i doing wasting all this time on a female dun??????????

Perhaps practicing for retirement? :)
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
GONZO
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GONZO on Jul 23, 2007July 23rd, 2007, 3:12 pm EDT
:) :) Konchu, see what happens when you put question marks behind your IDs? If only you'd said "It's doddsii, dammit!" . . . . (Of course, you are too honest and too much of a scientist to do that.)
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Taxon on Jul 23, 2007July 23rd, 2007, 4:56 pm EDT
Geez Gonzo, the next thing we'll hear is, don't pick on "poor Konchu":):)
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
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Konchu on Jul 24, 2007July 24th, 2007, 2:29 am EDT
I see how far honesty gets me.
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GONZO on Jul 24, 2007July 24th, 2007, 12:36 pm EDT
Geez Gonzo, the next thing we'll hear is, don't pick on "poor Konchu"

Well, Roger, I seem to recall someone recently referring to you as "poor Roger." I'm afraid that poor Konchu--just like the rest of us--probably gets what he deserves for posting here. :)

Best,
Poor Gonzo
Gene
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Gene on Aug 29, 2007August 29th, 2007, 6:51 pm EDT
Gentlemen:

I'm going to dig out a photo of a similar dun I have from Henry's Fork of the Snake about 20 years ago. It may be doddsii but it sure looks a lot like the Rosey Green Drake (that's what the locals called them years ago) of the Fork...grandis...but once again it's a female...no other comments needed.

tight lines and big trout

gene
www.flyfisher.com

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