Flyfishing Entomology


Re: Ephemera danica

From: Moreno
Received: October 5, 2006 0:04 AM

As you know it is common for American flyfishermen to refer to Ephemera, Rithrogena, Caenis etc , and similar groups of flies, using the generic term of  Mayflies whereas in the UK and in Europe a Mayfly is only an Ephemera danica. Could you please give me your thoughts on this and above all if it is true and why it should be so?


It is an extremely interesting question you pose, and I have really never heard a satisfactory answer to it.

In North America, most taxonomic names discussed by flyfishers have also acquired a common name.  Examples of this would be Ephemeroptera (Mayfly), Ephemeridae (Common Burrower), Litobrancha recurvata (Dark Green Drake).

It is my belief that the same principle must also hold true in Europe, independent of the language spoken.  However, for some reason, English-speaking European flyfishers (as opposed to entomologists, I believe) refer to a single species (Ephemera danica) by the common name, Mayfly.  I suspect this may be largely due to a combination of its abundance and its month of emergence, but that is speculative at best.


Created: 11/07/2006   Last modified: 11/07/2006    www.FlyfishingEntomology.com