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Arthropod Class Insecta (Insects)

Pictures Below
Nearly a million species of insects have been described by entomologists. I have left several of them off of this site, just to save time, but I've tried to include all the main aquatic insects trout eat in North America.

This site focuses on aquatic insects, of which the most important are mayflies (Ephemeroptera) and caddisflies (Trichoptera). Stoneflies (Plecoptera) come in third, a position arguably challenged by the many two-winged true flies of the Diptera order, which includes midges and craneflies. I've also included some terrestrial (Terrestrial: Insects which live on land and are fed on by trout only when they incidentally fall into the water are known as "terrestrials" to fly anglers, and they're very important in late summer.) insects which I've found on or near trout streams. Terrestrials (Terrestrial: Insects which live on land and are fed on by trout only when they incidentally fall into the water are known as "terrestrials" to fly anglers, and they're very important in late summer.) like ants, beetles, and grasshoppers are an important food source for trout in many places, especially during the summer months.

Aquatic insects do not live their entire lives in the water. Instead, they grow for a year (give or take quite a bit) as nymphs or larvae underwater, and then they emerge into air-breathing winged insects for a short while to mate and die. There are many variations on this theme.

The most important aquatic insects for fly fishermen are mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, and midges. Mayflies and caddisflies are the most discussed by angler-entomologists, because it's so useful to closely identify them. The behavior of their species guides the behavior of feeding trout, and an angler who understands the lifecycle of a particular species has the upper hand when it's hatching. This is not so important for stoneflies and midges, because their hatching behavior is less variable.

Pictures of 1002 Insect Specimens:

Specimen Page:1234...101
Neophylax (Autumn Mottled Sedges) Caddisfly AdultNeophylax (Autumn Mottled Sedges) Caddisfly Adult View 20 PicturesThis large caddisfly looks really neat close-up.
Collected September 19, 2006 from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on October 4, 2006
Female Ephemera guttulata (Green Drake) Mayfly DunFemale Ephemera guttulata (Green Drake) Mayfly Dun View 16 PicturesIt's about time I got a green drake on this site!
Collected June 1, 2007 from the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on June 4, 2007
Specimen Page:1234...101

1 Streamside Picture of Insects:

Callibaetis spinner on an alpine lake in Washington's Cascades, the one referred to by the alias of Upper Lake in my Golden Trout trip report.  In this picture: Mayfly Genus Callibaetis (Speckled Duns). From Upper Lake in Washington.
Callibaetis spinner on an alpine lake in Washington's Cascades, the one referred to by the alias of Upper Lake in my Golden Trout trip report.

In this picture: Mayfly Genus Callibaetis (Speckled Duns).
LocationUpper Lake
Date TakenSep 3, 2017
Date AddedSep 5, 2017
AuthorTroutnut
CameraNIKON 1 AW1

114 Underwater Pictures of Insects:

Underwater Photo Page:1234...13
Hundreds of cased caddisfly larvae live on this log in a small brook trout stream.  In this picture: Insect Order Trichoptera (Caddisflies). From Eighteenmile Creek in Wisconsin.
Hundreds of cased caddisfly larvae live on this log in a small brook trout stream.

In this picture: Insect Order Trichoptera (Caddisflies).
Date TakenApr 14, 2004
Date AddedJan 25, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
Several Baetidae nymphs line up on a rock.  In this picture: Mayfly Family Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olives). From Mongaup Creek in New York.
Several Baetidae nymphs line up on a rock.

In this picture: Mayfly Family Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olives).
Date TakenApr 19, 2006
Date AddedApr 22, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
CameraPENTAX Optio WPi
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
Underwater Photo Page:1234...13

Recent Discussions of Insecta

Little Black Stonefly pics 12 Replies »
Posted by Adirman on Apr 14, 2018 in the species Allocapnia granulata
Last reply on Apr 21, 2018 by Martinlf
Hey guys, went out on the Neversink for awhile today and had a look around, saw a lot of little dark flies, may be the little black stone fly? Hard to tell cuz looked like Caddis too. Looks like about a size 16? Any pics of available of this species would be great.


Thanks
ReplyEmerger pictures anyone??? 5 Replies »
Posted by Hellgie on Mar 30, 2010 in the genus Chimarra
Last reply on Apr 9, 2018 by Gazzer
I would like to see a picture of an emerging Chimarra or a pupa stage before emerging if anyone has one. I am baffled and curious to how and when they change from a yellow/orange larva to a black adult fly. Also, what would be a good emerger pattern for this fly? Lafontaine emerger in what color?
Replygetting midges down 9 Replies »
Posted by CaseyP on Dec 8, 2007 in the family Chironomidae
Last reply on Jan 17, 2018 by Ummm
says here midge pupae rise in the water and struggle in the film to become adults. my imitations are so small that they don't seem to go down very far in order to rise--ike a wet fly might at the end of the swing. any ideas? or am i fishing them wrong?
ReplyMayfiles other than Callibaetis 1 Reply »
Posted by Royal_Coach on Jan 15, 2018 in the genus Callibaetis
Last reply on Jan 15, 2018 by Millcreek
every book/article I read says Baetidae is the most imporant family and Callibaetis the most important genus of mayfly. Why? Does this just mean they are the most prolific? Am I not likely to encounter any other family/genus on a western river?
ReplyPolymitarcyidae Question 1 Reply »
Posted by Steamntrout on Jun 22, 2017 in the species Ephoron album
Last reply on Jun 23, 2017 by Crepuscular
What size are these nymphs & Sub Imago's?
Reply
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