Saturday, July 14, 2012

Acentrella nadineae: Really No Need to Go Far Away

So, why have I been ignoring the North Fork of the Moormans in my search for the beautiful summer small minnow mayflies?  I made up for it this morning.  I saw quite a few flatheaded mayflies, including some fairly mature E. vitreus; and there was a surprising number of common stoneflies -- fairly large -- genus Acroneuria; and of course, as I'm seeing everywhere else at this time of the year, there were a lot of common netspinner caddis.  But the dominant taxon today was my favorite small minnow mayfly -- Acentrella nadineae!

I spent a lot of time in one of the entries I posted last week working through the species ID for this insect, so there's no need to do that today.  I'll just post the better photos I was able to get -- even though the sun had gone missing by the time I got out my camera.  In the first, we have a young male at the top and a more mature female at the bottom.   The rest are just the female.


I did find a few other mayflies.

1.  A very small prong-gilled mayfly, genus Paraleptophlebia:

2. Another small minnow mayfly -- Baetis intercalaris -- with a small A. nadineae at the top of the photo:

3. And one other small minnow mayfly -- Acentrella turbida, or so I assume.  But it seems awfully small, so I need to have a close look at this one.


Finally, a couple of photos of small, still immature A. nadineae nymphs:


And this is what the City of Charlottesville, which prides itself on its committment to the environment, considers an adequate "minimum flow" for the Moormans River below its reservoir at the head of the Moormans.  I sure see the "minimum" -- but where is the "flow"?!  Do they expect this stream to stay healthy?  This was once -- and could be again -- a very good trout stream.

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