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PeternJuly 27th, 2013, 11:50 am
Posts: 4A couple of weeks ago i was fishing on the Indian river in New York and discovered a very large insect on my trucks tire. It was so large i scooped it off with my trout net. It was about 4" long in the body with "antennae' 2"+. it managed to squirm through the net and released a stream of white liquid form its end. unfortunately I didn't get any pictures.
TaxonJuly 27th, 2013, 3:10 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350
Hi Peter-

Welcome aboard. There are no mayflies even approaching the body length describe. The largest N. American mayfly is the Ephemerid, Litobrancha recurvata, which attains a body length of ~40 mm (~ 1.5"). Leg pulling on this forum requires a tad more plausibility. :-)
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
PeternJuly 27th, 2013, 3:47 pm
Posts: 4thanks for the welcome! I've enjoyed troutnut for several months, but this is my first foray onto the forum. i assure you i am not pulling any legs. my first reaction to this bug was that it was a large dobson, but after seveeral minutes i felt the wing position and body shape where unmistakenly , although groetesquely exagerated, mayfly in character. wish i had a photo. any idea what it else it may be?
TaxonJuly 27th, 2013, 6:04 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350

any idea what it else it may be?

What color was it? How many wings, 2 or 4? How were the held when not being used to fly, upright, out to the side, or folded back over the abdomen? Did it have any visible tails, and if so how many and how long were they? Did your body length estimate of 4" include the length of either antennae or tails?
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
PeternJuly 27th, 2013, 6:27 pm
Posts: 4the wings were upright. its color was greyish brown. two wings that i recall. the abdomen and thorax and head were in proportion of a mayfly. no tail. the "antenna' were thick protuberances, not wirey so i'm using the word because they didn't seem like mandibles. the total length was close to 6" i would say. i was parked near a large eddy on a fast section of river 1/4 mile below a dam.
CrepuscularJuly 27th, 2013, 7:23 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
The only insect in the NE that comes close to 6" would be a Phasmid. (Walking Stick). But even those are not quite that big. And the wings are certainly not held upright.
TroutnutJuly 28th, 2013, 1:47 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Are you sure it wasn't a large dobsonfly, perhaps with an injury that put its wings at a funny angle? I've seen stoneflies with upright wings plenty of times (due to injuries) so I wouldn't be surprised if it happens to a dobsonfly once in a while.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
PeternJuly 28th, 2013, 6:03 am
Posts: 4thanks for your input. i'm satisfied that it was probably the LARGEST specimen of an adult male dobson that i've ever seen, or can find record of on the "web". the posture of this bug was not typical to a dobson, and i beleive the abdomen was longer in proportion than a typical dobson. also the "mandibles" did not curve in.the injury theory may be right on the money, since it never flew away. whatever it was it was quite impressive insect to see!
TaxonJuly 28th, 2013, 11:13 am
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350
Hi Peter-

Some find this Aquatic Insect Recognition chart to be useful, as it allows one to compare the body lifestage outlines of most aquatic insect orders on a single screen. However, if your estimate of size (6 inches: 4 inch body plus 2 inch antennae) was not grossly exaggerated, what you saw it is more likely to have been some terrestrial insect.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck

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