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> > The Hex I was talking about

Al514 has attached this picture to aid in identification. The message is below.
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Al514September 22nd, 2007, 7:32 pm
Central New York

Posts: 142
So I got back out to that pond tonight to find a few of these guys flying around. It was 3 inches long from the front of its legs to the end of the tails. These guys are easy to catch!
KonchuSeptember 22nd, 2007, 8:20 pm
Site Editor

Posts: 505
Four Hexagenia species have been reported from New York: H. atrocaudata, H. bilinieata, H. rigida & H. limbata.

*atrocaudata has the outer fourth of the hindwing dark colored

*bilineata has dark/light longitudinal banding

*rigida has bright yellow triangular marks on the abdomen

*most any other variations probably are the common limbata

From the photo, my guess is rigida. At first I thought limbata, but got a better look from a different angle to my screen. I've seen limbata on Midwestern ponds.

We'll see if Taxon proves me wrong.
TaxonSeptember 23rd, 2007, 2:41 am
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350
We'll see if Taxon proves me wrong.


My guess would be Hexagenia viridescens, one of the many species which were folded into H. limbata. Take a look at its description in TBOM, and see if you don't agree.


That is a fantastic photo. My hat is off to you sir, or madam, as the case may be.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
DGCSeptember 23rd, 2007, 8:49 am

Posts: 10
Is the underside of the abdomen light olive?

If so we have had something very similar on one of our local (Chambersburg, PA) stocked streams in years past, though I don't know about this year because I've been targeting carp.

When one of those clumsy things hits you in the head you know it!

The fish responded to a modified compardun (add skinny rubber legs and leave a lump of exposed hair behind the extra heavy wing for floatation. About a size 10 2x long is what I used, though the natural is much larger than that as mentioned. Any number of other patterns probably would have worked as well.
GeneSeptember 23rd, 2007, 9:49 pm
Posts: 107Gentlemen:

(Please note I am writing this post for the novice fly anglers who sometimes frequent here not the entomologists). It may be fun to speculate on the species from the photo but once again coloration depends on the biogeochemistry of the stream, lake or pond especially in mayflies. We can accurately show whether Green Drakes come from streams like Kettle or Penns by the amount of blotching on the wings. Coloration in Hexagenia is similar and highly related to pH. Almost all mayflies can be used in this way to match them to the streams and bodies of water.

I have no problem with the speculation but unfortunately too many fly anglers and perhaps some entomologists give this method as correct. Years ago someone took one of my photos (of a sulfur) and by the photo alone some so called expert at one of the Univ. around D.C. proclaimed it to be another species.

The photo is excellent but without the genitalia all of you could be right, wrong or in between but it has nothing to do with what you see because the same species from another water of a different pH could have a different (lighter or darker pattern ) color pattern. It might be fun to have a bunch of different photos of the same species on here from lots of different streams to look at. Unfortunately, they probably would need to be photographed by the same person under the exact same lighting conditions.

So if you are a novice fly angler...this is just for fun about naming species by color and it's a nice game to play. Just don't take it too seriously. Dr. Philip Lewis (EPA Cincinnati?..most likely retired by now) who worked on Stenonema and Stenacron years ago was adamant about the misuse of color by fly anglers in referring to species and even some in the aquatic entomology community.

Remember for the most accurate species ID (without DNA that is) we all know this: VIRGIN MALES...I MEAN THE MAYFLIES OF COURSE not the identifier (this note is for the fly anglers not the entomologists on this board). I once wrote that in a little article in someone's newsletter years ago and evidently I didn't make it clear that I was talking about the mayflies. Some guy's wife read it and almost laughed herself to death because she thought I was talking about the entomologist. She couldn't figure out why the guy looking at the insects...well you get it. It seems like I ran into the same problem in D.C. once when I was speaking years ago at a TU meeting and there were some women who had just gotten into fly fishing. Someone asked a question about the proper way to identify and of course I gave them the spill!

These ladies started laughing in the back and I had to rephrase and explain it again. Well that actually made it worst when one of the ladies asked, "What happens to their... you know thing when they do it!" In my infinite wisdom I said, "Well it sometimes gets damaged!" I should have quit while I was ahead.

Anyway it as Walton said, "Because no man is born man is born an angler or something like that as the lady said in the back of the room.....

tight lines and autumn hatches...
gene macri
TaxonSeptember 24th, 2007, 12:44 am
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350
Okay Gene, let me make sure I've got this straight.

Novice fly anglers should only identify virgin males, due to their likelihood of having undamaged thingies. However, this is not an important consideration for entomologists, as they enjoy the luxury of DNA testing, which compensates, not only for their inability to ignore color variation, but also for their damaged thingies.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
GeneSeptember 24th, 2007, 9:42 am
Posts: 107Taxon:

Well not quite. I just want novices to realize that for true species identification...we need the undamaged thingies.....Entomologists already know they need the thingies...preferably undamaged unless of course they don't need the thingies if they have good DNA.

Now I'm sure that clears up the whole thingie manifestations congromerlate.

tight lines and undamage thingies for all

KonchuSeptember 24th, 2007, 1:54 pm
Site Editor

Posts: 505
...on the next episode of Montel...

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