Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Great Tuber Hatch

The tuber (Sloppyahoo coloridae) is one of the largest and most prolific aquatic insect emergences here on the front range and elsewhere in Colorado. The season "of the tuber" usually begins in July (great 4th of July hatch...reminiscent of the Mother's Day caddis on the Arkansas!) and lasts well through the end of August. The hatch often tapers down to almost nothing once CU resumes classes...I have yet to make the connection. The best days to catch the tuber hatch is on the hottest, sunniest days. This happens to be the polar opposite of the Blue Winged Olive mayfly hatch, that prefers overcast, rainy days. Mid day and early afternoon are the best times to find tubers on the water.

Tubers share a similar life cycle to that of caddisflies. They both undergo complete metamorphosis, passing through four stages--egg head, larva (well through their early twenties) pupa and adult. Although, some species are known to exist in nymph form. Like mayflies, these tuber nymphs vary...some are climbers (strong legs and chalky fingers), some are clingers (very annoying) and others are public urinators. These last ones are easy to identify.

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