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Mayfly Species Paraleptophlebia sculleni

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Where & When


Region: West

Time Of Year (?): Summer

To my knowledge, this species has only been described in the scientific literature from the Oregon Cascades. However, on July 25th, I found several swarms of a dozen or so male spinners dancing above a gravel road/trail on the rim of a bouldery canyon at 2800 feet elevation on the eastern slope of the Washington Cascades.

Although this canyon would easily constitute class 4+ whitewater when flows are higher, at typically low summer flows there are lots of quiet backwaters in the pools between the fast drops and boulders. This might be the habitat for the Paraleptophlebia nymphs.

I found them again a couple weeks later on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River on the west slope of the Washington Cascades.

Spinner Behavior


The male spinners I encountered were flying right at dusk.

Pictures of 2 Mayfly Specimens in the Species Paraleptophlebia sculleni:

Male Paraleptophlebia sculleni Mayfly SpinnerMale Paraleptophlebia sculleni  Mayfly Spinner View 13 PicturesThis specimen (and a few others I collected but didn't photograph) appear to represent the first finding of Paraleptophlebia sculleni outside the Oregon Cascades, although it is not a monumental leap from there to the Washington Cascades. The key characteristics are fairly clear.
Collected July 25, 2019 from Mystery Creek #249 in Washington
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 26, 2019
Male Paraleptophlebia sculleni Mayfly SpinnerMale Paraleptophlebia sculleni  Mayfly Spinner View 10 PicturesFor a species not yet reported in my state, I've been surprised to find these in two different locations lately. I was tempted to think they're the more common Paraleptophlebia debilis, but the characteristic big dorsal (Dorsal: Top.) bump on the claspers (
The claspers of this male Hexagenia atrocaudata mayfly spinner are highlighted in green.
The claspers of this male Hexagenia atrocaudata mayfly spinner are highlighted in green.
Clasper: The claspers, also known as forceps, are a pair of appendages beneath the tip of the abdomen of male mayfly adults, which are used to grab onto the female while mating.
)
just isn't present.
Collected August 4, 2019 from the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River in Washington
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on August 5, 2019

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