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Fly Fishing Getting Started - Mayfly Sex Identification 102

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 05/05/2015 (11993 reads)
Green Drake

Recently going through my mayfly photographs I found a nice set of pictures from the Paflyfish Spring Jam in 2010. The Green Drake (Ephemera guttulata ) hatch was in full swing that year and photographs of these mayflies was easy and plentiful. Most of the weekend was overcast and rain as normally forecasted for the Spring Jam. Emergers (subimigo) and spinners (imago) were not so much active during the day, but lined the sides of the streams in the hundred's of thousands. I am always torn between fishing and photography on days like this but glad put down my fly rod for a while and captured a lot of great shots.

With so many mayflies and photos it was easy to get so nice shots of the Green Drake spinners, which are referred to as Coffin Flies because of their white extended body. I wanted to demonstrate the differences between spinner (imago) male and female. These two Coffin Flies attached show these differences. Most notably the male has longer extended fore legs and claspers at the rear of the body. Females as seen do not have these body characteristics.

Male (left photo)
Long fore legs
Rear claspers or forceps at rear of body
Eyes on a male tend to be larger

Female (right photo)
Short fore leg
Forceps do not exist
Smaller flatter eyes

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Author Thread
Published: 2012/4/23 10:29  Updated: 2012/4/23 11:12
Joined: 09/21/2006
From: Pittsburgh
Comments: 1297
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - The Mayfly Sex Identifi...
I'll also add that the males are overall, noticeably smaller than the females.
Often, when the hatch is just beginning - the males are the first to emerge. And a smaller pattern is required to match the hatch then

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