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Mayfly Species Timpanoga hecuba (Great Red Quill)

Pictures Below
Timpanoga hecuba is not abundant enough, and its emergence not concentrated enough to provide great hatches, but where it is locally abundant it creates fishable action because of its large size. This species seems subject to substantial fluctuations in population densities, possibly in relation to the amount of silted habitat they prefer. When silt builds up in drought years, their numbers appear to increase. It is the largest species in the Ephemerellidae family, often rivaling Drunella grandis (Western Green Drake) in length but appearing even stouter due to its dramatic lateral (Lateral: To the side.) abdominal spines. It contains two subspecies (Subspecies: Entomologists sometimes further divide a species into distinct groups called subspecies, which have two lower-case words on the end of their scientific name instead of one. The latter is the sub-species name. For example, Maccaffertium mexicanum mexicanum and Maccaffertium mexicanum integrum are two different subspecies of Maccaffertium mexicanum.). See the Timpanoga genus hatch page for details.

There seems to be no preferred common name and anglers call them many things. Great Red Quill and Western Red Drake seem to fit best, though many refer to them as Giant Dark Hendricksons. Many fly shop reports have recently started to refer to them by their Latin species name.
  

Where & When


Region: West

Time Of Year (?): Mid-Summer through early Fall


Hatching Behavior


Time Of Day (?): Evening


Spinner Behavior


The duns may wait for several days before returning together as spinners, and in Knopp and Cormier say this can lead to fishable spinner falls.

Nymph Biology


Current Speed: Slow

Substrate: Silt

Pictures of 2 Mayfly Specimens in the Species Timpanoga hecuba:

Female Timpanoga hecuba (Great Red Quill) Mayfly DunFemale Timpanoga hecuba (Great Red Quill) Mayfly Dun View 3 PicturesThis specimen is 14 mm. Technically this is the subspecies (Subspecies: Entomologists sometimes further divide a species into distinct groups called subspecies, which have two lower-case words on the end of their scientific name instead of one. The latter is the sub-species name. For example, Maccaffertium mexicanum mexicanum and Maccaffertium mexicanum integrum are two different subspecies of Maccaffertium mexicanum.) T. h. hecuba. The Cascades, Sierras and further West is where the other subspecies (Subspecies: Entomologists sometimes further divide a species into distinct groups called subspecies, which have two lower-case words on the end of their scientific name instead of one. The latter is the sub-species name. For example, Maccaffertium mexicanum mexicanum and Maccaffertium mexicanum integrum are two different subspecies of Maccaffertium mexicanum.), T. h. pacifica is found. The Great Basin seems to have formed a barrier preventing any overlap in their distribution.
Collected September 15, 2013 from Mystery Creek #178 in Idaho
Added to Troutnut.com by Entoman on September 23, 2013

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