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> > Big and Little Hexes?

CaseyPJuly 3rd, 2013, 11:06 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
fished Pittsburg, NH, at Back Lake last week for the hex hatch and enjoyed it immensely. the bugs were really big, wings standing perhaps as high as 3 inches off the water, and bodies about as long.

then fished a pond in VT with the same color bugs hatching at the same time in the same manner, but they were about half the size.

different bug? different ecology, therefore smaller?

trout loved them either size.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Kschaefer3July 3rd, 2013, 11:52 am
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
trout loved them either size.
And that's the most important thing, right? Great question though. The variability of nature is often surprising and incredible.
SayfuJuly 3rd, 2013, 4:00 pm
Posts: 560
On my SF of the Snake big fish will often take the smaller bug...Big salmonflies out that are huge, and the fish will often rise to the smaller golden stones much better.
TaxonJuly 3rd, 2013, 5:38 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1294
Hi Casey-

fished Pittsburg, NH, at Back Lake last week for the hex hatch and enjoyed it immensely. the bugs were really big, wings standing perhaps as high as 3 inches off the water, and bodies about as long.

then fished a pond in VT with the same color bugs hatching at the same time in the same manner, but they were about half the size.

different bug? different ecology, therefore smaller?

trout loved them either size.


The Hexagenia emerging in NH were probably H. limbata, and those emerging in VT were probably H. rigida. Different species, but so similar that distinguishing one from the other requires microscopic examination of the genitalia of a male imago.
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
CaseyPJuly 3rd, 2013, 9:18 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
so similar that distinguishing one from the other requires microscopic examination of the genitalia of a male imago

umm...instead of just measuring the wings?
or does size not matter...
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
TaxonJuly 3rd, 2013, 10:49 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1294
Hi Casey-

Once upon a time, there were believed to be many more species of Hexagenia than there are today. Many of those earlier-identified "species" were combined with Hexagenia limbata. The following excerpt from Mayfly Central's Species List - North American documents this species concept re-definition:

Hexagenia limbata (Serville), 1829 [CAN:FN,NE,NW;MEX:FS,SW;USA:NE,NW,SE,SW]

Ephemera limbata Serville, 1829 (orig.)
Hexagenia affiliata McDunnough, 1927 (syn.)
Hexagenia californica Upholt, 1937 (syn.)
Hexagenia carolina Traver, 1931 (syn.)
Hexagenia elegans Traver, 1931 (syn.)
Hexagenia kanuga Traver, 1937 (syn.)
Hexagenia marilandica Traver, 1931 (syn.)
Hexagenia mingo Traver, 1931 (syn.)
Hexagenia munda Eaton, 1883 (syn.)
Hexagenia occulta (Walker), 1853 (syn.)
Hexagenia pallens Traver, 1935 (syn.)
Hexagenia rosacea Traver, 1931 (syn.)
Hexagenia variabilis Eaton, 1883 (syn.)
Hexagenia venusta Eaton, 1883 (syn.)
Hexagenia viridescens (Walker), 1853 (syn.)
Hexagenia weewa Traver, 1931 (syn.)
Palingenia limbata (Serville), 1829 (comb.)
Palingenia occulta Walker, 1853 (syn.)
Palingenia viridescens Walker, 1853 (syn.)


As a result, Hexagenia limbata subimagoes/imagoes vary in body length from ~12 mm to ~37 mm, whereas Hexagenia rigida vary in body length from ~19 to ~20 mm, and forewing lengths are approximately the same as (or slightly shorter than) body lengths.
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Jmd123July 4th, 2013, 1:12 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2379
Hey look everybody, Roger finally metamorphosed into an adult!!!

;oD

Jonathon

P.S. I also recently changed from a guy holding a smallmouth to a guy sitting in a yellow kayak...
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
CaseyPJuly 4th, 2013, 5:14 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
vary in body length from ~12 mm to ~37 mm

okay, so wing/body length is not the determining factor. thanks!
the hexes on the screen at the lodge looked larger than 35mm, but of course any bug nearly that size looks enormous, especially on the glassy surface of the lake at sunset.
so, hexes rule, big and small!
the fish in the pond are never fished for, and after one gulped down two real flies and one fishing fly in less time than it takes to tell, i felt bad and stopped fishing. my excuse was the water was kind of warm...
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra

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