Some interesting new bugs from the Cascades


Active Member
I fished a small stream in the Yakima drainage on Thursday, caught some fish, and collected quite a few interesting bugs I hadn't seen before.

There wasn't much hatching, but there were a few Calineuria californica stoneflies flitting around dropping eggs. I actually let the first one escape "bug jail" and go free because I noticed it still had a full load of eggs to drop, and the markings were nearly identical to a male of the same species I photographed recently from the South Fork Snoqualmie.

I later captured another one that had slightly different markings on its head, so in the field I guessed maybe it was a different species of stonefly. However, it still keyed out to Calineuria, and californica is the only species in town.

Walking back from fishing on the defunct gravel road above the river's canyon, I passed through several small swarms of male mayfly spinners and caught a few of them. They turned out to be Paraleptophlebia sculleni, which previously been documented only from Oregon, never in Washington. However, I'm fairly confident in the ID. The body looks black in this picture because it's clear and the background is showing through.

At dusk, when I was done fishing, I got my kicknet and scrounged around in a riffle for some more bugs to take home. I ended up getting quite a few good ones and spending much of Friday photographing and identifying them.

One was a species that has only been reported in Washington a few other times, Drunella pelosa, a relative of the popular western green drake species.

I also found one of the smaller western green drake species that's common in Washington but I hadn't collected yet myself, Drunella coloradensis, in multiple color variants:

Another really cool find was Attenella delantala, a small Ephemerellid nymph known for its striking markings. There were quite a few of these in my sample, although I've never seen them mentioned in the angling literature as an important hatch. I photographed male (top) and female (bottom) nymphs:

The most common Ephemerellid in the sample was Ephemerella tibialis, previously known as Serratella tibialis, the "small western dark hendrickson" mayfly. Like many Ephemerellids (but not the one above), it came in both olive and brown varieties:

One Baetid in the sample appeared to be Diphetor hageni:

There were also quite a few Rhyacophila caddis larvae, i.e. green rockworms. I photographed one that looked like most of the others I've collected, and another species that was fairly common in this sample and had an unusually large head and bluish-green body. There are countless species in this genus so I wasn't able to key them to species.

Outside the "EPT taxa" (mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies) there were a few other interesting oddballs. This one is a Dixidae or "meniscus midge" larva, which apparently lives and feeds in the surface film. I had a hard time sinking it fully underwater for pictures, and after identifying it I now know why.

Another midge larva was present throughout the stream in cases clinging to the rocks:

Living inside the case was a much smaller Chironomid (midge) larva:

Last and probably also least, there was a tiny beetle larva:

And something I collected off the streamside bushes that looked, in the fading light, like it might be an extremely tiny caddisfly (around size 30-32) but is instead some unidentified terrestrial that probably doesn't matter to the trout:


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