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Mayfly Family Ephemeridae (Hexes and Big Drakes)

Taxonomic Navigation -?-
» Family Ephemeridae (Hexes and Big Drakes)
Genus in EphemeridaeNumber of SpecimensNumber of Pictures
Ephemera21134
Hexagenia31160
Litobrancha34
Common Name
MatchCommon Name
****Hexes and Big Drakes
Pictures Below
Several great superhatches come from this family. The Green, Yellow, and Brown Drakes all belong to the Ephemera genus. Hexagenia and Litobrancha contain the largest mayflies in North America and present tremendous fly fishing opportunities.

Nymph Biology


Nymphs of this family are nocturnal and their pale bodies sensitive to the sunlight. They build U-shaped burrows less than six inches into the stream bottom, where they feed on microorganisms in the fertile sediment. They come out of these burrows to molt up to 30 times throughout their development.

It common in this family for nymphs to live 2-3 years before emerging. This is very unusual among the mayflies.

Pictures of 55 Mayfly Specimens in the Family Ephemeridae:

Specimen Page:1234...7
Female Hexagenia atrocaudata (Late Hex) Mayfly DunFemale Hexagenia atrocaudata (Late Hex) Mayfly Dun View 14 PicturesI found this lone Hexagenia atrocaudata dun fluttering by herself on the surface of a small, still stretch of river one evening as I paddled home from fishing for smallmouths in the warm August weather.
Collected August 5, 2005 from the Teal River in Wisconsin
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 14, 2006
Specimen Page:1234...7

3 Underwater Pictures of Ephemeridae Mayflies:

A crayfish chews on a Hexagenia limbata nymph shortly after a small Hex emergence.  I didn't catch any fish, but playing around with my flashlight and camera in the rocks proved productive.  In this picture: Arthropod Order Decapoda (Crayfish) and Mayfly Species Hexagenia limbata (Hex). From the Namekagon River in Wisconsin.
A crayfish chews on a Hexagenia limbata nymph shortly after a small Hex emergence. I didn't catch any fish, but playing around with my flashlight and camera in the rocks proved productive.

In this picture: Arthropod Order Decapoda (Crayfish) and Mayfly Species Hexagenia limbata (Hex).
Date TakenJun 14, 2006
Date AddedJun 30, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
CameraPENTAX Optio WPi
I lifted a rock in pursuit of a stonefly nymph that had scurried beneath it, and instead I found this Ephemera simulans burrowing mayfly nymph waiting to be photographed.  In this picture: Mayfly Species Ephemera simulans (Brown Drake). From the Namekagon River in Wisconsin.
I lifted a rock in pursuit of a stonefly nymph that had scurried beneath it, and instead I found this Ephemera simulans burrowing mayfly nymph waiting to be photographed.

In this picture: Mayfly Species Ephemera simulans (Brown Drake).
Date TakenApr 16, 2004
Date AddedJan 25, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
Shown Full Size
AddEmail
In this picture: Mayfly Species Ephemera simulans (Brown Drake). From the Namekagon River in Wisconsin.
Date TakenApr 16, 2004
Date AddedJan 25, 2006
AuthorTroutnut

Recent Discussions of Ephemeridae

Hex hatch water temperature range? 4 Replies »
Posted by NEMatt on May 23, 2014 in the species Hexagenia limbata
Last reply on Jul 5, 2016 by Bombillo
Hi,

New to the site - love it. I was wondering if there was a suggested range of water temperature at which the Hex likes to hatch.

Thanks
Matt
ReplyWhat is the big DEAL about the HEX? 21 Replies »
Posted by Spinner on Jun 21, 2006 in the species Hexagenia limbata
Last reply on Jul 5, 2016 by Bombillo
fishing in the dark.......
stepping in holes?

I hate the dark........

I don't need the hex........

Len
ReplyGreen Drake Hatch Temp? 1 Reply »
Posted by NEMatt on May 23, 2014 in the species Ephemera guttulata
Last reply on May 24, 2014 by Entoman
Hi

I was looking for a water temperature range for the Green Drake hatch. Anyone know?
ReplyMayfly larvae -wigglers preservation as bait 20 Replies »
Posted by Teacherprea on Jun 2, 2007 in the species Hexagenia limbata
Last reply on Apr 29, 2014 by TNEAL
I am a fly fisherman but not a "purist". A friend of mine has a place on the UP of Michigan. He just called me and said a guy told him there is a way to preserve "wigglers." They use them alot up north, those that are not fly fishermen or ladies. They are fishing perch, bluegill and crappie. He heard there is a way to "blanch" them.Drop them in hot water for a few minutes and they turn rubbery. They then will keep indefinitely. Has anyone heard of this? If so, how close to correct is the procedure I mentioned??
Thanks for anyone's help.
ReplyGD Shuck 10 Replies »
Posted by Martinlf on May 29, 2013 in the species Ephemera guttulata
Last reply on Jun 2, 2013 by Crepuscular
Jason's photo of a GD shuck suggests that at hatch time the backs of the nymphs may be a greyish or grey olive color. Possibly useful information, if this is an accurate surmise.
Reply
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