Mayfly ID?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by Taxon, May 1, 2012.

  1. Taxon Moderator

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    This gorgeous mayfly was photographed by an acquaintance on April 29, 2012, near the Touchet River in SE Washington. Let's see if you identify it, either by common name, or by family, or by genus, or by lifestage (dun or spinner), or by sex (male or female). Guesses are okay. Each will receive a prompt and respectful response. If this mayfly proves difficult to identify, additional clues will be provided.

    [IMG]
  2. Preston Active Member

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    Roger,
    I would say it's a male March Brown (Rhithrogena) dun. Beautiful photo.
  3. Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Whats the difference between a Male and a Female. Don't they both look a like.

    I'm kind of dumb about insects in general. When I fish I just grab something that looks like a fish would like and start fishing. If it doesn't get their attention I change to something else.
  4. Taxon Moderator

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    Hi Preston-

    Thank you for responding. Although you are correct concerning the sex, somewhat surprisingly, the common name for this guy is not March Brown, nor is the genus Rhithrogena. Time to dig out some books. ;)

    CORRECT IDENTIFICATIONS:
    Common name:
    Family:
    Genus:
    Lifestage:
    Sex: male (Preston)
  5. Taxon Moderator

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    Hi Old Man-

    Good question. Most mayfly nymphs cannot easily be identified to sex from a photo. However, mayfly subimagos (duns) and imagos (spinners) can usually be identified to sex from a decent macro photo.

    The most obvious clues are the size of the eyes, and the presence of claspers. The males usually have much larger eyes that the females, and males have claspers at the end of their abdomen (which look like calipers). Also (although this doesn't apply to duns), male spinners usually have extremely long fore (front) legs, as compared to the respective female spinners.
  6. Matt Baerwalde ...

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    Roger,

    Some barely edjumacated guesses:

    Common Name: Pale Evening Dun
    Family: Heptageniidae
    Genus: Heptagenia
    Lifestage: Dun
  7. McNasty Canyon Lurker

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    PED was my guess as well. though i cant recollect the last time iv'e seen one
  8. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Gray drake.
  9. Taxon Moderator

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    Hi Matt Baerwalde-

    You are correct concerning the lifestage, as it is a dun. However, it is not a Pale Evening Dun, nor is it of family Heptageniidae, nor is it of genus Heptagenia.

    CORRECT IDENTIFICATIONS:
    Common name:
    Family:
    Genus:
    Lifestage: dun or subimago (Matt Baerwalde)
    Sex: male (Preston)
  10. Taxon Moderator

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    Hi McNasty-

    It is not a PED (Pale Evening Dun).
  11. Taxon Moderator

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    Hi Derek Young-

    It is not a Gray Drake.
  12. Travis Bille Active Member

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    Paraleptophlebia?
  13. Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I know what it is. It's a bug that fish like to eat.
  14. tkww Member

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    Genus amaletus?
    Speaking of which, what would be recommendations for a couple of (very good/very best) books for the NW?--Oregon and WA specifically, but ID, MT, CO, etc. wouldn't hurt. And yes, I'll need pictures in those books. ;)
  15. ganderlander2 New Member

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    Ill say its a ameletus vernalis....brown dun
  16. Taxon Moderator

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    Hi Travis Billie-

    Sorry, but it's not of genus Paraleptophlebia.
  17. Taxon Moderator

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    Hi again, Old Man-

    I like your answer. Not specific enough, but I do like it.:)
  18. Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I don't know one bug from the other. Like I said earlier, I just throw out one of my favorite flies and have at it. If it doesn't work, I just try something else.
  19. Patrick Gould Active Member

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    Brown Dun?
    Ameletus vernalis
  20. Patrick Gould Active Member

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    beat me to it