Bug Identification Please

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by Mike Wilson, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson Yakbowbw

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    While camping this summer I found a critter that I have not seen before. can anyone help with the identification. Look at the pictures attatched and let me know something about this aquatic worm. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

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    Roger, are you there? :ray1:
     
  3. Taxon

    Taxon Moderator Staff Member

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    Mike-

    See below posts.

    Kirk-

    Yes, I'm here, thanks for thinking of me.
     
  4. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    A centipede? Don't know the species.

    tight lines
    Curt
     
  5. Taxon

    Taxon Moderator Staff Member

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    Mike-

    Thanks to Curt, I was able to find it. It appears to be a millipede, probably Harpaphe haydeniana.
     
  6. buford

    buford Member

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    Was it in the water? And alive? If so, it doesn't sound like a centipede/millipede to me??
     
  7. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Variegated San Juan Worm :clown:
     
  8. Evan Salmon

    Evan Salmon Member

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    Looks like an Ifellinawata Millipedius....
     
  9. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson Yakbowbw

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    Sorry for the delay in getting back to this. Had my head in painting the inlaws house. Yes, it was in the water crawling around on the rocks on the bottom of the creek. I was looking in the water and saw it moving slowly from one rock to another. I got it out and then took pictures of it. I returned it to the creek after we had took pictures of it. Maybe I put him back where he did not belong.
     
  10. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I'm thinking alderfly larva... doesn't look like a centepede or millipede to me (and the casing in interesting. Was the casing attached? Could have been eating a caddifly larva...).
     
  11. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson Yakbowbw

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    What appears to be a casing is a piece of wood the insect was hanging onto when I pulled it out of the water. The bugs outer case is the green and yellow side, and the bottom or leg side is the darker side.
     
  12. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Were the legs consistent (size shape) all the way down? It looks like the upper portion as the real legs, and the lower are shorter appendages and not the same jointed legs. Under water would indicate that it was not a centipede or millipede. Some beetle larva will go under water for a meal...

    Have you looked up alderfly larva yet? Do a google search, then click "images".
     
  13. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Forgot to add...

    If it had large jaws, it could also be a dobson fly larva (hellgrammite)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's an alderfly larva:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Nice images. I was wondering if perhaps it was a hellgramite. Interested in seeing what the final verdict is on this one so I can finalize the pattern... is it a variegated filoplume san juan worm? or... ?
     
  15. Taxon

    Taxon Moderator Staff Member

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    Jim,

    By "final verdict", did you mean the correct identification, or just the last word? :thumb:
     
  16. C-hawk

    C-hawk New Member

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    Interesting critter. Are you sure it is an aquatic organism and not an unfortunate terrestrial? The reason I ask is the prominant, thick, antennae on the specimen. These disqualify Chadk's photo suggestions since they have prominant mandibles (pincers) on their heads, not antennae. Could you tell if the appendages on each of the segments were legs or gills? You can also note on Chadk's photos that each segment has gills and only one on each side of each segment. They are "insects" and therefore only have six pairs of leggs. Hard for me (a retired biologist) to get any more specific on the basis of the photos and nt having a bug book with me.
     
  17. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Quite a few years ago, I came a cross a number of black and yellow millipedes (identical in appearance to the picture of Harpaphe haydeniana provided by Taxon, and the second of Mike's pictures) under a bridge on the bottom of what is now called Yellowjacket Creek. I wondered at the time if they had fallen from the underside of the span or if there was some other reason for their presence in the water. Since then I have occasionally seen such millipedes in shallow water on the bottoms of creeks as well as crawling about in the rocks ashore. Does anyone know if millipedes are capable of surviving, even temporarily, underwater?
     
  18. Taxon

    Taxon Moderator Staff Member

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    Preston-

    Millipedes are outside the scope of most of my references. However, I have been able to learn quite a bit about them through some diligent internet research. It appears to me that some of the confusion concerning identification of Mike's specimen may result from it being in the process of molting its exoskeleton, but not yet entirely completed shedding, particularly on the posterior portion of its trunk. Incidentally, this is the process by which millipedes grow in length, by adding segments to their trunks. If I am correct about the state of Mike's specimen, he may have taken a rather rare photo, as I was unable to find another photo of a millipede in the process of ecdysis.

    Although terrestrial, as are all millipedes, the Clown Millipede, Harpaphe haydeniana, is commonly observed crawling along the bottom of streams. They are associated with moist soils, and tend to migrate when weather conditions result in the soil becoming either too moist, or not moist enough, and are seemingly not deterred by a little stream which blocks their path. Perhaps their being unsighted is a contributing factor to this behavior.
     
  19. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Thanks Roger, I think that answers all of my questions. I'd forgotten that lovely word, ecdysis. By the way, did you know that strippers, with a yen to legitimize their art (and a large enough vocabulary), refer to themselves as ecdysiasts.
     
  20. Taxon

    Taxon Moderator Staff Member

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    Preston,

    No, I wasn't aware of that, but thanks for sharing.
     

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