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Mayfly Genus Heptagenia

Taxonomic Navigation -?-
Species in HeptageniaNumber of SpecimensNumber of Pictures
Heptagenia adaequata00
Heptagenia culacantha00
Heptagenia diabasia00
Heptagenia elegantulaPale Evening Dun00
Heptagenia pullaGolden Dun00
Heptagenia solitariaGinger Quill00

6 species aren't included.
Pictures Below
Although still an important genus in its own right, Heptagenia no longer includes many of the key hatches it used to. Several important species have been moved to its sister genera Nixe, Leucrocuta, and Ecdyonurus.

Of the remaining species, the best hatches come from Heptagenia elegantula in the West. The genus is generally unimportant in the East and Midwest, where the most likely species to produce fishable hatches is Heptagenia pulla.

Hatching Behavior

Heptagenia nymphs emerge very quickly, so emerger patterns are unimportant. The duns may or may not float long enough to get trout excited.

Spinner Behavior

Spinner falls give the most promising action produced by Heptagenia species.

Pictures of 11 Mayfly Specimens in the Genus Heptagenia:

Specimen Page:12
Heptagenia pulla (Golden Dun) Mayfly NymphHeptagenia pulla (Golden Dun) Mayfly Nymph View 8 PicturesLike most Alaskan mayflies, this one is tricky to identify to the species level. See the discussion section for an informative chat about this one's ID. The current leaning is to call it a fairly immature Heptagenia pulla nymph, but a case has been made for Heptagenia elegantula as well.
Collected July 10, 2011 from Nome Creek in Alaska
Added to by Troutnut on July 13, 2011
Heptagenia pulla (Golden Dun) Mayfly NymphHeptagenia pulla (Golden Dun) Mayfly Nymph View 5 PicturesI used a microscope to positively identify this nymph as Heptagenia pulla. (Edit six years later: I wish I had explained why I was positive about this. It may have been based on color patterns in an angling text, which are not especially reliable for species ID anymore.)
Collected June 5, 2005 from the Long Lake Branch of the White River in Wisconsin
Added to by Troutnut on May 25, 2006
Specimen Page:12

Recent Discussions of Heptagenia

Added more Heptagenia culacantha info 12 Replies »
Posted by Troutnut on Dec 19, 2006 in the species Heptagenia culacantha
Last reply on Feb 8, 2012 by Entoman
I went to the entomology library today and photocopied the 1985 paper that first described this curious species. I've updated the culacantha page with this information.
ReplyLink to pictures of H. culacantha 2 Replies »
Posted by Troutnut on Oct 20, 2006 in the species Heptagenia culacantha
Last reply on Oct 4, 2007 by Troutnut
Many thanks to user Softhackle for digging up this link. I knew about the thread from back when it started, but I wasn't able to find it when I went back to look last night. Good work!

Fly Fisherman Magazine forum topic with two pictures of a H. culacantha dun.

I've added the species to the "live" part of the database and put up a rudimentary page where I can compile any more information we find.
ReplyDoes anyone know anything about Heptagenia culacantha? 8 Replies »
Posted by GONZO on Oct 19, 2006 in the species Heptagenia culacantha
Last reply on Apr 18, 2007 by Konchu
This is a shot in the dark, but I'm trying to track down descriptive information about a rather rare "mystery mayfly." Heptagenia culacantha was identified in 1985 (Evans, Botts, & Flowers). About all I have right now is a tease from the Journal of the New York Entomological Society--"This infrequently taken species, one of the largest and most striking North American heptageniids, is known only from Pennsylvania and New York."

The reason I'm so interested is that I believe I encounter a fishable hatch of these mayflies every season on one of my favorite PA brook trout headwaters. If that conjures a picture of fishing to 6-7" dinks, you'll need to double those numbers to appreciate how special this stream really is. Add to that an image of the fish rising to these beautiful "mystery mayflies" that hatch in the evening, following a day-long emergence of Dark Green Drakes (Litobrancha recurvata)!

It is such a special event that it is one of the very few things that can pull me away from fishing my favorite Olive Morning Dun hatch (Drunella lata, nee cornuta). Help!
There are 5 more topics.

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