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> > Black & White Mayfly Nymph

Higherroad has attached this picture to aid in identification. The message is below.
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HigherroadMay 5th, 2014, 5:36 pm
Posts: 5I photographed this 1/4" nymph on a small mountain southeastern U.S. trout stream in April. What species is this?
TaxonMay 5th, 2014, 7:01 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Hi Higherroad-

Welcome to this site. That is a truly gorgeous photo. Although it might help if you identified it to the Southeastern state of origin, I suspect it to be a freshly molted nymph of Heptagenia marginalis.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
HigherroadMay 5th, 2014, 7:23 pm
Posts: 5This was in Northern Georgia.
WbranchMay 5th, 2014, 7:41 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2651
How did you paint those little white bands so accurately on a little 1/4" long nymph. That is amazing.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
HigherroadMay 5th, 2014, 8:41 pm
Posts: 5White Out.
WbranchMay 5th, 2014, 8:50 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2651
Oh, Cool! Thanks for sharing.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRobertsMay 5th, 2014, 10:01 pm

Posts: 1776
Wow! Stunning little may!
Jmd123May 5th, 2014, 10:31 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2480
That sure is a pretty little creature!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchMay 5th, 2014, 11:37 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2651
Mack wrote;

God is great !!! And he is the greatest artist of them all.

That is probably one of the wisest comments you have ever made on this forum.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TroutnutMay 7th, 2014, 12:41 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2592
God is great !!! And he is the greatest artist of them all. Our creativity stems from his work as an extension of everything we are.

On the contrary, science views things like this as the spectacular, inevitable result of nature left to run its own course. Just like mathematical fractals produce patterns more intricate than any artist could dream up, natural selection reshapes organisms in more varied and impressive ways than any one being could imagine, let alone control. Nature needs no guiding hand to impress.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
MartinlfMay 7th, 2014, 11:08 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
What a cool, cool photo! Thanks.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
KonchuMay 8th, 2014, 11:13 am
Site Editor

Posts: 498
Beautiful. This looks to me like some freshly molted Rhithrogena that I've seen from the SE. The spots on the femora aren't as prominent as usual, but I think I can make them out.
CrepuscularMay 8th, 2014, 11:44 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Nice Higherroad! Thanks for posting this. It's definitely a new one for me.
PaulRobertsMay 8th, 2014, 10:32 pm

Posts: 1776
I wonder what drove the development of such a pigment scheme? It has a story to tell.
EntomanMay 9th, 2014, 12:41 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
There are several species out West noted for similar color schemes. Anecdotally, I've noticed they seem to inhabit the salt & pepper granitic substrate of many West Coast streams. There is one species of ephemerellid with virtually the same color scheme called Attenella delantala. The very distinctive marks had me stumped until Roger (Taxon) schooled me on it several years ago. I had never seen one before but they are supposedly fairly common out here.
"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
PaulRobertsMay 9th, 2014, 3:17 am

Posts: 1776
Thanks, Kurt. Here's A.delantala:
KonchuMay 9th, 2014, 2:05 pm
Site Editor

Posts: 498
Various Drunella species worldwide show that scheme, too. And actually several baetids show it, too, such as Plauditus cestus et al.
EntomanMay 10th, 2014, 12:45 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Yes, the D. grandis subspecies are good examples.
"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
JohnNYMay 14th, 2014, 8:37 am
Posts: 15Reminds me of the very young larvae of giant swallow tail butterflies.

Google images of "larvae of giant swallowtail butterflies "

They mimic the poop of small birds as they crawl around on the foliage of their food. It does not seem that looking like bird poop would help these guys UNDERWATER, but it's a thought.
PaulRobertsMay 14th, 2014, 10:13 pm

Posts: 1776
Weirder things have happened!

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