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Name this mayfly
Name this mayfly
KennebagoJanuary 7th, 2012, 12:50 pm
Kennebago Maine

Posts: 2
I've been told this could be a brown drake or a green drake.....any help on the correct identification please?
Fish Kennebago, you'll be glad you did.
EntomanJanuary 7th, 2012, 3:30 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Kennebago -

Welcome to the forum!

The insect in your photo is a Hexagenia (probably limbata) male imago (spinner), usually referred to as "Hex" in current fly fishing journalism. Besides Hex, the most used common names seem to be Great Yellow Drake (in regions w/out E. varia), Big Yellow May, and Michigan Caddis. Great Lead-winged Olive or Lead-winged Drake are also common for the darker winged non-yellowish strains of this species. There is a lot of regional variation in appearance and the males are smaller and often much darker than the females. This is the reason for so many different descriptive names for the same species.

Though they do belong to the same family of mayflies (Ephemeridae), the names Green Drake and Brown Drake refer to three tailed species in the different genus Ephemera. Tail counts in the adults aside, all the nymphs of this family have a similar appearance. They can be easily identified by their large size, heavily gilled abdomens and tusks.

BTW - Nice photo.

Best Regards
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
KennebagoJanuary 8th, 2012, 6:41 am
Kennebago Maine

Posts: 2
Thanks very much for the clarification. I use an Olympus 790 Stylus camera now. Had drowned two earlier digital cameras on the river before wising up to purchase a waterproof camera. It has a very nice closeup setting.
Fish Kennebago, you'll be glad you did.
EntomanJanuary 10th, 2012, 3:30 am
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
You're welcome. Your camera does a nice job with you at the controls. I look forward to more of your photos.

Click on this link to check out what I meant by regional variations. You wouldn't think it the same species, but it is. FWIW, if I fished your hatch, I'd call it a Lead-wing Drake. Don't like the name "Hex" and there's not much yellow or olive on your specimen.:)
Also check out some of Jason's excellent photos under Hexagenia limbata in the hatch encyclopedia pages.

"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman

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