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CrepuscularSeptember 11th, 2013, 8:42 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
These things have been around for a month now. The fish seem to recognize.

TroutnutSeptember 12th, 2013, 12:13 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2558
Nice photo!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
CrepuscularSeptember 12th, 2013, 6:23 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Nice photo!

EDIT
Thanks. I'd call that H. atrocaudata but it seems too light. Any thoughts? Collected last Sunday. It's gotta be limbata right? But it's September. These streams are gonna drive me to drink...
EntomanSeptember 13th, 2013, 3:10 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Eric,

You didn't mention its size, but assuming it's much smaller than the limbata drakes you see earlier in the Summer, I'd go with atrocaudata. You're right about it being too pale for most descriptions but there are more forms of the species in this genus than you can shake a stick at.:) A lot of them look pretty different and it wouldn't surprise me that atro could have a pale form.

From what I can make out, it seems to lack the two toned eyes of limbata and the way the abdominal maculation (ventral & dorsal) line up is pretty interesting. Looks almost ringed... Most (but not all) limbata specimens lack these types of ventral markings and even if they do have them, I don't remember them lining up this well. I believe this pattern may be more common with atro - at least the ones I've seen photographed.
"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
CrepuscularSeptember 16th, 2013, 10:10 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Thanks Kurt I showed this female to another person who is very familar with this mayfly and the stream where I collected it and he agrees with you and me (I guess that's what I said) that it's H. atrocaudata
EntomanSeptember 16th, 2013, 4:38 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Yeah, this genus drives me crazy more than any other. Well, many of the baetid genera are just as bad, I suppose.:) The problem is most of the characters formally used to field differentiate them haven't proved as helpful as once hoped. Body color & size, abdominal maculation, hatch timing, and banding along the outer edge of the hind wing are far from dependable for determining between the two. Entomologists have wrestled over even curated specimens! I guess I'm going by the eyes...

I've collected them from the end of May to as late as mid October, depending on location. They often look entirely different. Some are really big (40 mm range), some are half as big. Some are light, some are darker. Some have banded hind wings, some don't. Their tergal maculation is all over the map and none of them have been a really close match to any of the Spieth diagrams. Even so, I've been assured we only have limbata (prev. californica) out here, so my local critters don't cause ID frustration. The problem with your specimens is you live in Hex Central (too many species).:) As you mentioned, this particular specimen being female doesn't make it easier either!:)

BTW - have you ever seen these smaller pale Hexes this late before?
"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
LastchanceSeptember 16th, 2013, 7:10 pm
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Yep, it looks like a mayfly to me, too! You embarrass me with all that genius talk.
CrepuscularSeptember 16th, 2013, 8:50 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
BTW - have you ever seen these smaller pale Hexes this late before?


Oh yeah. Every year at this time there are a lot of them. They usually start about the same time as the white fly. And last well into September. The males are darker ill try and get a decent photo of one of the boys.
EntomanSeptember 17th, 2013, 3:28 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Look forward to it. A good look at the privates should clear up any confusion... Hopefully! :)

Bruce - You're a piiece of work.
"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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