Mayflies

Scientific name: Ephemeroptera (order)

Identification: Mayflies are thin, soft-bodied insects that have four upright membranous wings. In their larval stage, they have a broad abdomen with two to three long caudal filaments extending from the end. In their adult stage, they are yellow to brown to gray in color, and they have two long antennae that extend from the end of their abdomen.

Habitat: Mayflies are found near most freshwater systems, since they spend the majority of their lives by the water. The larvae are considered to be a good indicator of water quality, and they play an important role in aquatic ecosystems.

Overview: Mayflies only stay in their adult stage for a few days, meaning that their sole purpose is to spawn. These spawning events can often cause swarms of mayflies in an area, leading to near blackout conditions and fish frenzies. Mayflies eat algae and clean up river systems, and they are considered to be a good source of food for many other fish and aquatic predators.

 

Image Sources:

https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Invertebrates/Mayflies

http://cfb.unh.edu/StreamKey/html/index.html

 

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/animal/mayfly

https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/mayflies

https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Invertebrates/Mayflies

http://cfb.unh.edu/StreamKey/html/index.html