Sunday, November 29, 2009


For now, this page shall be only order, until I am able to fully key this mayfly - I fear that it had a final molt to go, since it only had one pair of wings visible and does not seem to fit into the families with absent hind wings so as a result, may be difficult to key. It also had fine hairs on the wing margins, indicative of subimagos. At any rate, here is some information about the order Ephemeroptera - Mayflies - and a few lovely pictures.

Mayflies are small-medium, elongate, soft-bodied insects with two or three thread-like tails. They are common near ponds and streams. They have membranous wings with dense venation and the front pair of wings is usually large and triangular while the hind wings are small or absent. They live most of their life as an aquatic nymph, with leaflike or plumose gills along the side of the abdomen. Most feed on algae and detritus, contrasted with the highly carnivorous dragonfly nymphs. They rise to the surface of the water, molt into a subimago, land in a safe location and wait for their final molt to the adult form. The subimagos have a pair of wings, but the margin has hairs, as do the caudal filaments (see below). The nymphs may take a year or two to develop, but the adults live only a couple days at most.

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