This page includes an automated list of specimens in need of more detailed identification. Because my academic specialty is salmonid behavior and I'm not an entomologist by training, I can only partially keep up with accurately identifying all the invertebrates I collect. I haven't had time to develop the at-a-glance familiarity experts have with many western species, and keying them out is often time-consuming or impossible from photographs, even with all the closeups I take. So I still rely on the generous volunteer help of more experienced entomologists to keep up with specific IDs. This page is intended to facilitate that help and prevent specimens from falling through the cracks.
If you can help with an improved ID on any of the specimens listed, please comment on the specimen page or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the specimen ID number (visible in its URL) and identification. If you can provide the rationale for the identification in a public comment, so others can learn more from it, that's ideal -- but feel free to just drop the name if you're busy and you're somebody I already know and trust to get it right.
Each list is prioritized with the specimens most recently added to the site appearing first, regardless of collection date.
Specimens unidentified to family
Mayflies unidentified to family
None. All caught up on these.
Caddisflies unidentified to family
Male Trichoptera (Caddisflies) Caddisfly Adult
View 8 PicturesThis specimen was one of tens of thousands we saw on a July 1st evening on the Madison, beginning with big swarms around every vehicle and tree at the Eight Mile Ford access point and continuing all up and down the river bank. We somehow didn't catch any trout, perhaps because they were stuffed with pupae from when these things emerged. Or maybe we just weren't fishing well. Either way, this one represents a major hatch there.
I somehow forgot to photograph this important specimen against the hooks size chart, but fortunately I preserved a few. The body length is about 6 mm, and total length from head to wingtip is 9 mm.
Stoneflies unidentified to family
Female Plecoptera (Stoneflies) Stonefly Adult
View 9 PicturesI'm puzzled on the family ID on this one. Just going by the size, shape, and color, it looks like Chloroperlidae. However, the key in Merritt & Commins has me puzzled. the second anal vein of the forewing is does not appear to be forked, and the apical (Apical: Close to the apex; tip or end.) tmaxillary palpal segment is about 60 % of the length of the penultimate segment, which does not strike me as "greatly reduced." If we assume it's not Chloroperlidae and move beyond there in the key, we get to the position of the cubitoanal crossvein (Crossvein: Short cross-wise veins in an insect wing which connect the long longitudinal (length-wise) veins.) relative to the anal cell in the forewing -- touching it in this case, which would indicate Perlidae. But the size and relatively skinny, cylindrical body really don't seem to match Perlidae at all.
If we assume it actually is Chloroperlidae and advance to couplet 92 (at least in the 5th edition key), we end up with one feature (vein Cu2 well developed with several intercubital crossveins (Crossvein: Short cross-wise veins in an insect wing which connect the long longitudinal (length-wise) veins.) connecting Cu1 and Cu2) contradicting two others (posterolateral margins of head usually parallel behind eyes, and epicranial sutures prominent) in the first couplet.
I'm clearly missing something.
Diptera (true flies) unidentified to family
Specimens unidentified to genus
Mayflies unidentified to genus
Male Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olives) Mayfly Dun
View 11 PicturesThis specimen emerged indoors from nymphs I had collected, then partly molted into a spinner but got stuck along the way. I've included a couple pictures showing some of the spinner colors. It got a bit waterlogged after emerging, so the wings aren't in perfect shape, but it still represents one of two Baetids that were emerging and drawing trout to rise on the Yakima. Based on body size and shape, it is most likely the same species as this nymph. Male Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olives) Mayfly Nymph
View 10 PicturesThis male nymph is probably in its final instar (Instar: Many invertebrates molt through dozens of progressively larger and better-developed stages as they grow. Each of these stages is known as an instar. Hard-bodied nymphs typically molt through more instars than soft-bodied larvae.). The wing pads (
Wing pad: A protrusion from the thorax of an insect nymph which holds the developing wings. Black wing pads usually indicate that the nymph is nearly ready to emerge into an adult.) are extremely black and the large turbinate (
The wing pads on this final instar Baetidae
mayfly nymph are extremely dark.
Turbinate: Shaped like a top or elevated on a stalk; usually refers to the eyes of some adult male Baetidae mayflies which are wider near the tip than at the base.) eyes are very apparent inside the nymph's head.
This male Baetidae
dun has slightly turbinate eyes.
Female Ephemerellidae (Hendricksons, Sulphurs, PMDs, BWOs) Mayfly Spinner
View 6 PicturesI'm not sure of the species of this female spinner, and unfortunately I never found the associated males or duns to aid in identification. The egg-laying flight and fall of fairly large clouds of these females caused good rises of choosy trout for a week or so around early July on a large, cold spring creek in the northwoods. There is a distinctive stripe down the female's back, identical to that on this specimen collected a month later. Female Ephemerellidae (Hendricksons, Sulphurs, PMDs, BWOs) Mayfly Dun
View 5 PicturesI found this little dun floating down the water's surface stuck in her nymphal shuck (Shuck: The shed exoskeleton left over when an insect molts into its next stage or instar. Most often it describes the last nymphal or pupal skin exited during emergence into a winged adult.). Such stillborn (Stillborn: In fly fishing, a stillborn insect is one which got stuck in its nymphal or pupal shuck during emergence and floats helplessly on the surface instead of flying away. It is a specific class of cripple, although it is sometimes used interchangeably with that term.) insects are sometiems targeted by the trout. I brought this one home to photograph since it's a species I don't have yet, but I haven't figured out which one.
Caddisflies unidentified to genus
Stoneflies unidentified to genus
Specimens of select taxa unidentified to species
Ephemerella mayflies unidentified to species
Drunella mayflies unidentified to species
Paraleptophlebia mayflies unidentified to species
Siphlonurus mayflies unidentified to species
Rhithrogena mayflies unidentified to species
Rhithrogena Mayfly Nymph
View 1 PicturesBased on the lack of coloration and the two bars on the last tergite (Tergite: The top (dorsal) part of a single segment on an insect's abdomen when it consists of a single chitinous plate (sclerite), or an individual sclerite if the segment has more than one.) this may be Rhithrogena virilis.
Cinygmula mayflies unidentified to species