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> > Hex in NC???

CalebBoyle has attached these 2 pictures to aid in identification. The message is below.
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CalebBoyleMay 23rd, 2007, 6:27 pm
Charlotte, NC

Posts: 11
Hi guys,

I found this female mayfly near where I live and wanted to see what you all thought about it. It was found in gaston county (near Charlotte) in North Carolina. When I first glanced at it I thought it must be some kind of drake, but quickly realized it couldn't be. There are only 2 tails and this monster is 36-37mm long. I have never heard of Hexagenia in North Carolina, but isn't this a H. limbata? If so what records are there for NC hatches and how common are they? Most of the pictures that I have seen of limbata have darker markings on the abdomen, but then what other mayfly is this size other than a Litobrancha recurvata?

Caleb Boyle
TaxonMay 23rd, 2007, 7:03 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350
Nice photos, Caleb. You have (3) Hexagenia species in N. Carolina, H. atrocaudata, H. bilineata, and H. limbata. However, given its size and date of emergence, it is almost certainly H. limbata. Incidentally, notice the characteristic vestigal terminal filament! That is one I've been saving for you, Gonzo.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
TroutnutMay 23rd, 2007, 7:20 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
It's H. limbata. That's a widely variable species, and back in the 1940s it was actually broken into about 6 sub-species with different looks and geographic ranges. The sub-species aren't considered valid anymore (it's all just one undivided species now, I think) but the point is that H. limbata comes in many flavors.

Somebody recently emailed me asking me to identify one from Texas, too.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZOMay 23rd, 2007, 8:08 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Roger--Thanks for the terminal filament reference. You've been saving that one for a while!

Caleb--Beautiful specimen! The variability in color/markings that Jason mentions always amazes me when I view specimens of this transcontinental species.
CalebBoyleMay 24th, 2007, 12:43 pm
Charlotte, NC

Posts: 11
Thanks guys for the confirmations-- I had just never heard about limbata this far south. I agree Gonzo, I have seen some photos of color variations that are really different.


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