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The Specimen

Gomphidae Dragonfly NymphGomphidae  Dragonfly Nymph View 3 Pictures
Collected January 31, 2004 from unknown in Wisconsin
Added to by on January 25, 2006

The Discussion

TroutnaboutSeptember 22nd, 2006, 2:00 pm
Posts: 20I need some help with identification. I found a yellow opaque nymph in a river in north Carolina. Body characterisitcs are like the drsgon fly you show here but the color was yellow. What do you think?
GONZOSeptember 22nd, 2006, 4:24 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
It probably was a Dragonfly nymph. I often turn up small yellow dragonfly nymphs in the streams I fish. I've assumed they were immature and that the yellow color reflected a recent molt; however, because the small ones almost always seem to be yellow (as opposed to the large mottled olive nymphs I find emerging on rocks along the same streams), I'm not sure about that. Jason? Roger?
TroutnaboutSeptember 22nd, 2006, 5:31 pm
Posts: 20Gonzo: Thanks for your response. How little is little? The nymph I found was about 7/8 mm.
GONZOSeptember 22nd, 2006, 6:15 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
I have found them as small as you describe. I'd estimate that about 8-15mm is the range I see most. I've rarely picked up the large olive nymphs in the little pocket seine I always carry, but I see quite a few emerging just like stoneflies around the end of May through June.

One additional thought about the little yellow ones--if they are molts, perhaps the reason they get captured so often is that they are relatively helpless. The regular dragonfly nymphs may be too damn swift to get caught very often. Still all guesswork, though.
TroutnutSeptember 22nd, 2006, 6:38 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Yeah, they're probably dragonfly nymphs. I've found them in a range of light olive/tan or "yellowish" colors. It depends on the species and age of the nymph.

The old ones aren't all that hard to catch. Some dragonfly nymphs can scoot around alright, but they're all pretty slow compared to traditional "fast" aquatic insects like scuds or swimming mayfly nymphs.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZOSeptember 22nd, 2006, 6:49 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Thanks Jason. I manage to catch plenty of scuds and Isonychia nymphs in the seine, so I guess that shoots the speed theory.
TroutnaboutSeptember 22nd, 2006, 6:50 pm
Posts: 20Gonzo and Jason: Thanks for the help! I was quite bewilderd on the stream today when I discovered that nymph. This is all new to me but very facinationg. It's nice to have others experience and knowledge so easily available.

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