Bugging You Again
Hi Daniel. I’ve been seeing the oddest little creatures hatching on my little treks to the Sacramento river to photograph bugs. At first I believed it was a midge. Then, looking closer at its intricate wing veining, I mistook it for a newly hatched stonefly. I ought to know better! Some claim it must be a water strider, but what I’ve read indicates those should have four long legs with an additional two short front legs, where this creature instead has six very long legs. It seems barely able to hold up its head and mostly just drags it alongside! It can fly, though scarcely seems to realize it – perhaps because of its newly hatched state. I did not witness any actually hatching or emerging but suspect they just did because of the rather helpless way they washed about in the current until they could fasten onto a rock to drag themselves up onto. Can you shed any light onto this charming creature’s identity for me? You asked about caddis, damselflies, and dragonfly nymph images when last you wrote and I’m happy to say I’ve gotten off my duff and organized my macroinvertebrates into tidy categories easy to look through. If you need any of them, I would be honored to contribute to the cause. The reorganized galleries are at: http://www.pbase.com/michellemahood/real_bugs
Thanks as always for your help and your advice! Best regards,
Michelle Mahood
Shingletown, California

Hi Again Michelle,
We always love being bugged by you since you have such great stories and photos. We wanted to turn to a more qualified expert with your new critter, so we wrote to Eric Eaton. Here is his response:
“Well, the critter looks like it may be some kind of crane fly, but there are a number of aquatic fly families that could fit the bill. She needs to consult an aquatic entomologist, I think. I’d be hesitant to go out on a limb here. Sorry.”
P. S. Eric speaks very highly of you.

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for replying! If you don’t know and Eric Eaton doesn’t know, I can’t imagine anyone knows! However, maybe some especially learned aquatic entomologist fan of yours who reads your site will pipe up with a species name for my critter. He’s certainly not rare, as there’s a hatch of them regularly where I visit the river to turn over rocks. Thanks so much for trying and for posting my pictures. I love looking at your site and seeing what others have discovered! I’m loving spring and hope you are too!
Best regards,
PS If you need ANY insects off my site for yours, please have at ’em!

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