Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

Mayfly Species Ephemerella needhami (Little Dark Hendrickson)

Pictures Below
This small and slightly noteworthy mayfly appears during the finest hours of the year. Ernest Schwiebert describes an Ephemerella needhami day in Matching the Hatch:

"It was a wonderul morning, with a sky of indescribable blue and big, clean-looking cumulus clouds, and the water was sparkling and alive. You have seen the water with that lively look; you have also seen it dead and uninviting in a way that dampens the enthusiasm the moment you wade out into the current."

I have not fished a needhami emergence, but the exquisite nymphs show up often (though never abundantly) in my samples.

Where & When

Regions: East, Midwest

Time Of Year (?): May-July

There are reports of this species producing fishable hatches in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Most authors say this hatch begins and peaks in late June and dwindles through most of July. However, in Mayflies: An Angler's Study of Trout Water Ephemeroptera , Knopp & Cormier list a different emergence date than other authors, stating that the hatch can begin in late May. I suspect this refers to the warmer climate of southern Pennsylvania, while others gave dates for the Catskills and Michigan.

Hatching Behavior

Time Of Day (?): Late Morning

Knopp & Cormier report that the male and female duns are different colors and vary from stream to stream. Ernest Schwiebert in Nymphs Volume I: The Mayflies: The Major Species reports that they take off from the water quickly after emerging, meaning nymph and emerger patterns might be more appropriate than dun imitations.

Spinner Behavior

Time Of Day: Evening

Habitat: Riffles and runs

Nymph Biology

Current Speed: Medium to Fast

Substrate: Usually vegetation, occasionally elsewhere.

This species has an unusually strong affinity for aquatic vegetation. Many authors have noted this and it is consistent with my samples as well.

Pictures of 9 Mayfly Specimens in the Species Ephemerella needhami:

Specimen Page:12
Ephemerella needhami (Little Dark Hendrickson) Mayfly DunEphemerella needhami (Little Dark Hendrickson) Mayfly Dun View 7 PicturesSee the comments for an interesting discussion of the identification of this dun.
Collected June 1, 2007 from the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
Added to by Troutnut on June 4, 2007
Ephemerella needhami (Little Dark Hendrickson) Mayfly NymphEphemerella needhami (Little Dark Hendrickson) Mayfly Nymph View 6 PicturesI photographed three strange striped Ephemerella nymphs from the same trip on the same river: this one, a brown one, and a very very striped one. I have tentatively put them all in Ephemerella needhami for now.
Collected June 9, 2005 from the Bois Brule River in Wisconsin
Added to by Troutnut on May 26, 2006
Ephemerella needhami (Little Dark Hendrickson) Mayfly NymphEphemerella needhami (Little Dark Hendrickson) Mayfly Nymph View 5 PicturesI took quite a few notes at the microscope when I collected this specimen. They're attached to the appropriate pictures.

I found this specimen in the same collection as a similar one. Since I only have strange views of this one, it's possible that they're actually the same specimen and I somehow confused my picture-ordering and got the impression that they're different nymphs.
Collected June 8, 2005 from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Added to by Troutnut on May 26, 2006
Specimen Page:12

Your Thoughts On Ephemerella needhami:

You must log in at the top of the page to post. If you haven't registered yet, it's this easy:

Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.
Top 10 Fly Hatches
Top Gift Shop Designs
Top Insect Specimens
Miscellaneous Sites