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Ephemeroptera: Baetidae of Gunnison County, Colorado

Baetis flavistriga

Dark Blue-Winged Olive Dun, Dark Gray-Winged Olive Dun, Dark Olive Brown Spinner, Dark blue winged Olive #20-22, Slate Winged Brown Quill

McDunnough 1921

Updated 3 Feb 2016
TSN 100835


These larvae are distinctive, with dark bands on their tails and kidney shaped pale areas on the dark areas of their terga. They have three tails. The pronotum has two upside down "U-shaped" marks on a pale background.


This is one of the fuscatus group of Baetis species. Very common in eastern United States, there are scattered populations across the west as well.

Good Links

On this website:
Key to Baetis Nymphs
Introduction to Baetis

Other Websites:
Photos, Map, Museum, DNA - Barcodinglife.org


Ball,SL; Hebert,PDN; Burian,SK; Webb,JM 2005 Biological identification of mayflies (Ephemeroptera) using DNA barcodes. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 24 3, 508-524.
     B. flavistriga is far away from B. tricaudatus and B. bicaudatus on their phylogenetic tree, occurring on "a long basal branch as the most basal of the Baetidae".

Ide,FP 1937 Descriptions of eastern North American species of baetine mayflies with particular reference to the nymphal stages. Canadian Entomologist 69:219-231. PDF

McCafferty,WP; Durfee,RS; Kondratieff,BC 1993 Colorado mayflies (Ephemeroptera): an annotated inventory. Southwestern Naturalist 38 3, 252-274. PDF
     Quoted from page 255: "Morihara and McCafferty (1979b) stated that this species was one of the most abundant and common Baetis species in eastern North America. McCafferty (1990) concluded that the Black Hills of South Dakota represented the westernmost limits of its range, and that it´s distribution in South Dakota was relict in nature. With the confirmation of this species from at least three areas in Colorado, it is becoming clear that it is much more widespread in mountain areas. We therefore expect it to be found in other western states as materials are studied. This must be regarded as a rather special type of mayfly distribution in North America, in that it is found primarily in mountain areas across the continent (Rocky Mountains, Black Hills, Ozark-Ouachita Mountains, and the Appalachians)."

McCafferty,WP and Provonsha, AV The Mayflies of North AmericaSpecies List (Version 12Jan2009)
     Here is the geographic range and synonyms:
Baetis flavistriga McDunnough, 1921 [CAN:FN,NE,NW;MEX:FS,SW;USA:FN,NE,NW,SE,SW]
* Baetis caurinus Edmunds & Allen, 1957 (syn.)
* Baetis cingulatus McDunnough, 1925 (syn.)
* Baetis levitans McDunnough, 1925 (syn.)
* Baetis nanus McDunnough, 1923 (syn.)
* Baetis ochris Burks, 1953 (syn.)
* Baetis pallidula McDunnough, 1924 (syn.)
* Baetis pallidulus McDunnough, 1924 (syn.)
* Baetis phoebus McDunnough, 1923 (syn.)
* Baetis quebecensis Hubbard, 1974 (syn.)
* Baetis sinuosus Navas, 1924 (syn.)

McDunnough J. 1921 Two new Canadian May-flies (Ephemeridae). Canadian Entomologist 53:117-120.
     Original description of B. flavistriga.

McDunnough J. 1923 New Canadian Ephemeridae with notes. Canadian Entomologist 55:39-50.
     Discussed on pages 40 and 41:

Ploskey,GR and Brown,AV 1980 Downstream drift of the mayfly Baetis flavistriga as a passive phenonmenon. American Midland Naturalist 104:405-409. PDF

Rowe,L; Hudson,J and Berrill,M 1988 Hatching success of mayfly eggs at low pH. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 45:1649-1652.

Sibley,PK; Kaushik, NK and Kreutzweiser,DP 1991 Impact of a pulse application of permethrin on the macroinvertebrate community of a headwater stream Environmental Pollution 70(1)35-55.
     Abstract: "This study evaluated the impact of concentrated pulse (16 ug litre-1) of the insecticide permethrin (emulsifiable concentrate) on the macroinvertebrate community of a northern Ontario headwater stream. Post-treatment drift increased by a factor of 2400 within minutes of the arrival of the insecticide. There was a significant (P < 005) reduction in the abundance of invertebrates in most families as far as 260 m below the point of injection in both kick and artificial substrate samples. Greatest impact was observed in the mayflies, Baetis flavistriga, Heptagenia flavescens, and Epeorus sp., the stonefly, Leuctra tenuis, and the caddisfly, Dolophilodes distinctus. Diptera were not significantly reduced. The number of species occurring 100 m from the point of injection was reduced by 47%, but only by 17% at 260 m. There was no change in the per cent composition of functional feeding groups at any point after treatment. Recovery of most invertebrates was complete within 6 weeks of treatment."

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment Data Warehouse http://aquatic.biodata.usgs.gov/landing.action(NAWQA) shows this species is present in Gunnison County. Data as of 1Sep2005

Waltz,RD 1995 Baetis ochris, a new synonym of Baetis flavistriga (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae). Entomological News 106: 75-76.

Brown,WS 2004 Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) of Gunnison County, Colorado, USA