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Mayfly Genus Baetis (Blue-Winged Olives)

Taxonomic Navigation -?-
Species in BaetisNumber of SpecimensNumber of Pictures
Baetis bicaudatusBWO15
Baetis brunneicolorBlue-Winged Rusty Dun00
Baetis flavistrigaBWO314
Baetis intercalarisSmall Eastern Blue-Winged Olive00
Baetis magnusIron Blue Quill00
Baetis tricaudatusBlue-Winged Olive524

17 species aren't included.
Common Names
Pictures Below

This is page 2 of specimens of Baetis. Visit the main Baetis page for:

  • The behavior and habitat of Baetis.

Pictures of 22 Mayfly Specimens in the Genus Baetis:

Specimen Page:123
Male Baetis tricaudatus (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly DunMale Baetis tricaudatus (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun View 8 PicturesThis male was associated with a female of the same species.
Collected April 3, 2007 from Owasco Inlet in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 3, 2007
Female Baetis tricaudatus (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly DunFemale Baetis tricaudatus (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun View 7 PicturesThis female was associated with a male of the same species.
Collected April 3, 2007 from Owasco Inlet in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 3, 2007
Female Baetis (Blue-Winged Olives) Mayfly DunFemale Baetis (Blue-Winged Olives) Mayfly Dun View 7 PicturesThis little early-season dun molted into this spinner after I photographed her.
Collected April 19, 2006 from Mongaup Creek in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 21, 2006
Female Baetis (Blue-Winged Olives) Mayfly SpinnerFemale Baetis (Blue-Winged Olives) Mayfly Spinner View 4 PicturesI captured and photographed this specimen as a dun before she molted into the spinner photographed here. Her wings got a bit torn up in the process.
Collected April 19, 2006 from Mongaup Creek in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 21, 2006
Male Baetis flavistriga (BWO) Mayfly NymphMale Baetis flavistriga (BWO) Mayfly Nymph View 8 PicturesThis nymph keys to Baetis assuming the villipore is present (hard to see in my photos or scope), and within that genus it tentatively keys to the flavistriga species complex, of which Baetis flavistriga itself is by far the most common in Washington state, so that's the most likely ID.
Collected July 6, 2020 from Mystery Creek #249 in Washington
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 12, 2020
Baetis bicaudatus (BWO) Mayfly NymphBaetis bicaudatus (BWO) Mayfly Nymph View 5 PicturesHere I'm just copying and pasting, without cleaning up, my notes from spending a long time with this one under the microscope (and keying with Merritt & Cummins 5th Ed) only to end up confirming the most likely guess.

7. Baetis bicaudatus nymph
1. Hind wingpad present but small and hidden beneath forewing pad
2. Segment 2 of labial palp (
The palp on the maxilla of an Ephemerella nymph (detached and photographed under a microscope) is highlighted in red here.
The palp on the maxilla of an Ephemerella nymph (detached and photographed under a microscope) is highlighted in red here.
Palp: A long, thin, often segmented appendage which can protrude from certain insect mouth parts such as the maxillae. Also known as the < />palpus.
)
with well-developed medially projecting corner —> Baetis (couple 44)…. BUT no sign of scale-like setae (Seta: Little hairs on insects.) on abdominal terga (Tergum: the dorsal part of an abdominal segment or segments (terga). Also used to describe the entire abdominal dorsum or the thoracic dorsal segments of Odonata.). Conflicts at this couplet.
3. Gills on segments I-VII
4. Tarsal claws (Tarsal claw: The claws at the tip of the tarsus, on an insect's "foot.") with denticles (
The denticles on the tarsal claw of this Ephemerella nymph are highlighted in red.
The denticles on the tarsal claw of this Ephemerella nymph are highlighted in red.
Denticle: Small tooth-like projects, often appearing like serrations on the tarsal claws of certain mayfly nymphs.
)
, seemingly 2 rows but very hard to tell… and the key options with 2 rows don’t make sense
5. Assuming no villipore, we land confidently at couplet 48
6. Leads to Fallceon, except antennal scape doesn’t have robust setae (Seta: Little hairs on insects.)
7. Treated as Baetis, leads to brunneicolor, but McDunnough et al 1932 (Can Ent 64) suggests middle tail should be 5/6 as long as outer ones
8. Keys VERY confidently to couplet 36 in M&C (freaking villipore)
9. If assuming villipore present:
1. 37 —> Scape of anntenae has no distal (Distal: Far from the point of attachment or origin; near the tip.) lobe —> rules out Labiobaetis (100 % certain)
2. 38 —> Terminal filament much shorter than cerci (Cercus: The left and right "tails" of an insect are known as the cerci or caudal cerci. The middle tail of a three-tailed insect is not.) —> not Barbaetis benfieldi (100 % certain)
3. 39 —> Terminal filament reduced (100 % certain)
4. 40 —> Freaking tarsal claw (Tarsal claw: The claws at the tip of the tarsus, on an insect's "foot.") dentical count couplet. If two rows of denticles (
The denticles on the tarsal claw of this Ephemerella nymph are highlighted in red.
The denticles on the tarsal claw of this Ephemerella nymph are highlighted in red.
Denticle: Small tooth-like projects, often appearing like serrations on the tarsal claws of certain mayfly nymphs.
)
: Either Iswaeon or Heterocloeon. Can’t be Iswaeon because cerci (Cercus: The left and right "tails" of an insect are known as the cerci or caudal cerci. The middle tail of a three-tailed insect is not.) lack dark median band. Can’t be heterocloeon because it’s not in the Platte drainage or in Texas. Thus, it must be one row of denticles (
The denticles on the tarsal claw of this Ephemerella nymph are highlighted in red.
The denticles on the tarsal claw of this Ephemerella nymph are highlighted in red.
Denticle: Small tooth-like projects, often appearing like serrations on the tarsal claws of certain mayfly nymphs.
)
. Moving on to 42.
5. 42 —> Hind wing pads (
The wing pads on this final instar Baetidae mayfly nymph are extremely dark.
The wing pads on this final instar Baetidae mayfly nymph are extremely dark.
Wing pad: A protrusion from the thorax of an insect nymph which holds the developing wings. Black wing pads usually indicate that the nymph is nearly ready to emerge into an adult.
)
present (100 % certain)
6. 44 —> Segment 2 of labial palpi with well-developed medially projecting corner (80 % certain), scale-like setae (Seta: Little hairs on insects.) not evident on terga (Tergum: the dorsal part of an abdominal segment or segments (terga). Also used to describe the entire abdominal dorsum or the thoracic dorsal segments of Odonata.) but maybe limitation of my scope —> Baetis (alternative would be Acentrella, but pronotum (Pronotum: The top of the insect prothorax.) shape is all wrong for those, although not an official characteristic)
7. CONFIDENT in Baetis bicaudatus after distinctive leg markings (J-shaped light mark on first femur (
The femur of this Isonychia bicolor mayfly spinner is highlighted in red.
The femur of this Isonychia bicolor mayfly spinner is highlighted in red.
Femur: The main segment of an insect's leg close to the body, in between the tibia and the trochanter.
)
, L-shaped on second and third) matches original species description to a tee.
Collected August 4, 2020 from Green Lake Outlet in Idaho
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on August 20, 2020
Baetis flavistriga (BWO) Mayfly NymphBaetis flavistriga (BWO) Mayfly Nymph View 1 Pictures
Collected June 19, 2011 from the Kwethluk River in Alaska
Added to Troutnut.com by Bnewell on June 26, 2011
Female Baetis (Blue-Winged Olives) Mayfly DunFemale Baetis (Blue-Winged Olives) Mayfly Dun View 4 PicturesI'm guessing this specimen is in the genus Acerpenna because of the very sharp costal process (
The costal process of a Baetidae dun.
The costal process of a Baetidae dun.
Costal process: A bump or point sticking up from the front margin of an insect's wing, usually the rear wing of certain mayflies. It is sometimes called a costal projection.
)
on her hind wing. I'm guessing pygmaea because it is the most common species.

Editor note: Not Acerpenna. This is most likely Baetis. See comments on this male specimen for rationale. Also compare with the female specimen associated with it.
Collected July 1, 2005 from the Bois Brule River in Wisconsin
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 22, 2006
Specimen Page:123
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