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Small Minnow Mayfly (Callibaetis picta)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Small Minnow Mayfly

Small Minnow Mayflies are tiny meals to the trout that love them and help reveal the presence of pollution in waterways.

Updated: 01/05/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Small Minnow Mayflies are a favorite among trout. The fish gobble up the Mayflies when they surface. Because of this, a replica 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 of it kills 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. The abdomen is tipped with the two long, thin filaments. Two sets of wings allow the Small Minnow Mayfly to fly, though the second set of wings are much smaller than the first set. Wings are transparent, but may also be patterned with opaque black patches around the edges. This species of Mayfly is active during the warm months of the year and ranges throughout the western parts of North America. It produces multiple generations per year and appears more often in the early and middle hours of the day.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Small-Minnow-Mayfly

waterborne vegetation
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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Helpful insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Ephemeroptera
        Family: Baetidae
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          Genus: Callibaetis
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            Species: picta

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Callibaetis picta
Other Name(s): Mayfly
Category: Mayfly
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 12mm (0.23" to 0.47")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white; brown; gray
Descriptors: flying; helpful

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 6mm (0.2in) and 12mm (0.5in)
Lo: 6mm
Md: 9mm
Hi: 12mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Small Minnow Mayfly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Small Minnow Mayfly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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