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Can Someone Please ID This Insect?

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Patriot


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Posted 20 November 2017 - 10:51 PM

One afternoon I seined the San Juan River in Northern New Mexico to try and determine what the fish were rising to. My sein trapped a very odd insect (seen below) besides a lot of (expected) midges.  I was surprised how well the images turned out because it was breezy that afternoon, but I'm afraid they may not be good enough to determine what this insect is. Here are a few shots of this "mystery" insect:


Attached File  mystery-insect-1.jpg   298.83KB   2 downloads


Looking at the above image, it has a rather short, stubby abdomen and thorax.


Attached File  mystery-insect-3.jpg   290.86KB   2 downloads


The second image shows that the wings are "tent-like" and are not similiar to a mayfly's wings nor that of a midge, whose wings lay flat along its body.


I showed this insect to a gentleman who was fishing close by and he said he had never seen anything like that.  He also said he fished the SJR several times a year and had done so for years, but had never seen an insect such as this.


This insect was a lot larger than a midge and its wings were definitely not those of a mayfly, so I have no idea what this may have been. I have never seen a caddis on the river, so do not know if this body size would qualify as a caddis.  The wings do not look like images I have seen of caddis's, but I could be wrong.


I wanted to get a profile view, but was unsuccessful.  I have a few other photos, but I don't think they would be of any help.


Any help in solving this puzzle would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

#2 tjm


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Posted 21 November 2017 - 02:54 AM

water strider? If it is I don't think fish eat them.


Midge is such a non-specific term that size comparison is vague, you might give a guess in mm or fractions of inch. or hook size; #28 or #10?

#3 JSzymczyk


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Posted 21 November 2017 - 06:02 AM

it looks like an aphid.   The simple wing veination and body morphology look about right.   Just because it was ON the water doesn't mean it came FROM the water.  

the gales of November remembered...

#4 mikechell


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Posted 21 November 2017 - 06:36 AM

JS is the winner !!!

More specifically, it matches pictures and descriptions of the "Giant Willow Aphid".

Barbed hooks rule!
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#5 SilverCreek


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Posted 21 November 2017 - 04:31 PM

it looks like an aphid.   The simple wing veination and body morphology look about right.   Just because it was ON the water doesn't mean it came FROM the water.  


^^^^ WOW. Impressive and fantastic. I had no idea what it was.



"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy


#6 Kudu


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Posted 21 November 2017 - 04:34 PM

Im not an entomologist like the trout guys but enjoyed this thread very much!

#7 Patriot


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Posted 21 November 2017 - 06:57 PM

Giant Willow Aphid!  I had no idea these even existed around here.


I found this image on the net and I think the one distinguishing feature of this insect is the dark "rib" at the lower edge of each wing as seen in my poor images and the much better image seen below.


Attached File  giant-willow-image.jpg   36.4KB   1 downloads


I sincerely appreicate the help in IDing this insect.