Small Minnow Mayfly (Callibaetis picta)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Small Minnow Mayfly.
Updated: 2/3/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Common Name: Small Minnow Mayfly
Other Name(s): Mayfly
Scientific Name: Callibaetis picta
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 12mm (0.23in to 0.47in)
Identifying Colors: white, brown, gray
Additional Identifiers: flying, helpful
Small Minnow Mayflies are tiny meals to the trout that love them. They are also useful in telling biologists the level of pollution in water.
Small Minnow Mayflies are a favorite among trout. The fish gobble the Mayflies up in the process of surfacing. Because of this, a model of the Small Minnow Mayfly is one of the more popular artificial baits made for fly fishermen. Small Minnow Mayflies are attracted to water sources and live much of their lives near them.
These tiny insects are sensitive to pollution. Even small amounts will kill a population, so seeing a healthy number of Small Minnow Mayflies means the water is clean. A stream that sees a fast decline in this insect's population may be experiencing some form of chemical pollution.
Small Minnow Mayflies look very much like other Mayflies. Their abdomen is tipped with the two long, thin filaments. Two sets of wings allow the Small Minnow Mayfly to fly, though the second set - the hind wings - are much smaller than the first set. Wings are clear, but may be patterned with opaque black patches around the edges.
These Mayflies are active during the warm months of the year and range throughout the western parts of North America. This particular species produces multiple generations per year and will appear more so during the early and middle hours of the day.