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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
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 Setvena wahkeena (Perlodidae) (Wahkeena Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
As far as I can tell, this species has only previously been reported from one site in Oregon along the Columbia gorge. However, the key characteristics are fairly unmistakable in all except for one minor detail:
— 4 small yellow spots on frons visible in photos
— Narrow occipital spinule row curves forward (but doesn’t quite meet on stem of ecdysial suture, as it's supposed to in this species)
— Short spinules on anterior margin of front legs
— Short rposterior row of blunt spinules on abdominal tergae, rather than elongated spinules dorsally
I caught several of these mature nymphs in the fishless, tiny headwaters of a creek high in the Wenatchee Mountains.
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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Freshwater Invertebrate Underwater Pictures

Freshwater Invertebrate Underwater Pictures

Underwater photos of freshwater invertebrates in their natural habitat.

Hundreds of cased caddisfly larvae live on this log in a small brook trout stream.

From Eighteenmile Creek in Wisconsin
Several Baetidae nymphs line up on a rock.

From Mongaup Creek in New York
This is a close-up underwater view of a stillborn Ephemerella subvaria (Henrickson) female dun.

From the East Branch of the Delaware River in New York
A Brachycentrus "Apple Caddis" pupa scoots around in the surface film.  Apparently it had some difficulty emerging, so I was able to slip my camera underneath it and take a picture from below.

From the East Branch of the Delaware River in New York
This picture from below shows a stillborn Ephemerella subvaria (Hendrickson) dun drifting on the surface amidst a number of shed pupal skins from Brachycentrus caddisflies which were heavily hatching that day.

From the East Branch of the Delaware River in New York
This Brachycentrus "Apple Caddis" struggled more than its kin in escaping its pupal skin, enabling me to take an underwater picture of it from directly below.  This is sort of a trout's eye view, but I used the flash for the picture so the transparent shuck appears far brighter than it really is.

From the East Branch of the Delaware River in New York
This is my favorite underwater picture so far. It shows a bunch of Simuliidae (black fly) larvae clinging to a rock and swinging in the fast current. There are also at least four visible mayfly nymphs, probably in the family Baetidae.

From Eighteenmile Creek in Wisconsin
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
Cased caddis larvae blanket this section of stream bottom.

From Eighteenmile Creek in Wisconsin
A crayfish chews on a Hexagenia limbata nymph shortly after a small Hex emergence.  I didn't catch any fish, but playing around with my flashlight and camera in the rocks proved productive.
Hundreds of cased caddis larvae cling to sparse weed growth in the sand under heavy current.

From Eighteenmile Creek in Wisconsin
A variety of cased caddisfly larvae, probably mostly Neophylax, have clustered along the backside of a rock in fast water.  There seem to be some Helicopsychidae larvae clustered along the bottom, and a few other taxa are mixed in.  It's interesting that several larvae have especially large stones placed over the front openings of their cases, perhaps to block the case off for pupation.

It does seem to be the wrong time of year for Neophylax to be pupating, but that was the ID given for one of these which I collected and photographed up close.

From Cayuta Creek in New York
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
There are several mayfly and stonefly nymphs clinging to this log.

From Eighteenmile Creek in Wisconsin
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
The white blotches on this rock are Leucotrichia caddisfly cases, and the wispy tubes are cases made by a type of midge.
Eighteenmile Creek in Wisconsin
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