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: