Flyfishing Entomology


Re: Maine Mayfly

From: Streamer
Posted:  Saturday, May 6, 2006 09:14 AM on www.flyfishingonly.net

Mike found this on the shop door yesterday, apparently waiting to come in, and (it being the first mayfly he'd seen this year) Mike obliged. By the time I got there (ten of ten), Mike had him in a display case by the cash register, so I got to look at him close up. It's hard to tell from the photograph, but this little guy does have 3 tails.

This link: http://www.flyfishingentomology.com/index.html has a simplified identification window. However, when I input the description of the Mayfly, it comes back with no match (maybe I'm getting the length-without the tails-wrong). Maybe someone else will have better luck with it.


I believe the mayfly in question to be a Black Quill, Leptophlibia cupida male imago.  The probable reason you didn't get a match is that 15 mm. is not within the published body length range for a Leptophlebia spinner. I suspect 15 mm. may be an exaggeration of body length, as it seems to be in disparity with the #10-#12 hook size estimate.  Here are the parameters I entered and the description of the insect that my Adult Mayfly Identification screen ultimately led to:


Adult Mayfly Identification

Number of tails = 3
Body length = 12 mm.
Fore wings = ?
Hind wings = ?
Other distinguishing characters: middle tail shorter
Emergence water type: ?
Emergence behavior: ?
Emergence light condition: ?
Geographic location: USA:NE
Scientific name: Leptophlebia cupida
Previously know as: Baetis ignava, Blasturus austrinus, Blasturus collinus, Blasturus concinnus, Blasturus cupidus, Blasturus gravastellus, Cloe quebecensis, Ephemera cupida, Ephemera hebes, Ephemerella quebecensis, Heptagenia quebecensis, Leptophlebia austrina, Leptophlebia Common name: Black Quill Locality: E, M, W Nymphal habitat: lakes and streams w/slow current or still backwaters Voltinism:   Emergence (begin) date: mid-Apr Emergence (end) date: late-Aug Emergence time of day: midday and afternoon Spinner fall time of day: afternoon
Dun minimum length: 9 mm. Dun maximum length: 12 mm. Dun identification keys:   Dun body description: dark brown or brownish gray w/distinct banding Dun wings: dark slate gray, heavily washed w/brown, darkest in stigmatic area, large eliptical hind wing w/o costal angulation Dun legs: front black, rear creamish brown Dun tails: 3, olive-brown, paler than body
Spinner minimum length: 8 mm. Spinner maximum length: 12.5 mm. Spinner identification keys: male claspers w/3 joints; head of male dark brown, almost black; bases of antennae ringed w/dark brown; face margined w/dark brown; eyes large, not meeting on top of head; eye of male conspicuously divided into lower and upper parts, upper element dark mahogany-brown, lower element nearly black Spinner body description: dark reddish brown w/pale yellow bands Spinner wings: hyaline w/light to medium brown veins; forewings base and stigmatic area lightly washed w/brown Spinner legs: bases ringed w/dark brown, femora and tibiae of forelegs dark brown, nearly black, tarsi smoky-brown, middle and hind legs medium brown w/olive reflections, tarsi slightly darker than femora and tibiae Spinner tails: 3, smoky-brown, darker basally, paler apically, narrowly ringed w/dark brown at joinings; middle tail weaker and slightly less than half as long as outer two Roger

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Created: 05/12/2006   Last modified: 08/25/2006    www.FlyfishingEntomology.com