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Arthropod Class Insecta (Insects)

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.

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
This is my favorite underwater picture so far. It shows a bunch of Simuliidae (black fly) larvae clinging to a rock and swinging in the fast current. There are also at least four visible mayfly nymphs, probably in the family Baetidae.  In this picture: True Fly Family Simuliidae (Black Flies) and Mayfly Family Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olives). From Eighteenmile Creek in Wisconsin.
This is my favorite underwater picture so far. It shows a bunch of Simuliidae (black fly) larvae clinging to a rock and swinging in the fast current. There are also at least four visible mayfly nymphs, probably in the family Baetidae.

In this picture: True Fly Family Simuliidae (Black Flies) and Mayfly Family Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olives).
Date TakenMar 19, 2004
Date AddedJan 25, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
Underwater Photo Page:1234...13

Recent Discussions of Insecta

Missing genera (from missing list)
Posted by AndyV on Nov 8, 2022 in the family Caenidae
Latineosus, Sparbarus, Susperatus should all be included in the genera that aren't included (I think).

Andy

ReplyCorrect hatch time of year Hydropsyche slossonae? 10 Replies »
Posted by AndyV on Aug 26, 2022 in the species Hydropsyche slossonae
Last reply on Oct 11, 2022 by AndyV
I've seen hatch charts (e.g. DNR hatch chart for SE MN) stating mid-May til the end of July vs June (from this site). Can anyone confirm?
Replyacentrella nymph 22 Replies »
Posted by Goose on Nov 3, 2006 in the genus Acentrella
Last reply on Sep 15, 2022 by Wiflyfisher
Hi Jason! Do you have a picture of the (acentrella-miniature BWO nymph) on the site? I've been fishing them and wanted a better idea of how they look.
Thanks,
Bruce
ReplyFamily name now Thremmatidae (Little Northeastern Casemakers)
Posted by AndyV on Aug 25, 2022 in the family Uenoidae
I believe Uenoidae is now known as Thremmatidae.

~Andy
ReplyPlectrocnemia missing
Posted by AndyV on Aug 25, 2022 in the family Polycentropodidae
I believe this is missing from the list. Unsure of it's importance. However, they was a study on Plectrocnemia conspersa relative to trout populations in Ashdown Forest streams [Schofield et al. (1988)].
Reply
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