Ephemeroptera mayflies
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Ephemeroptera: Mayflies. In North America 17 families 680 species (569 in US) PA species. Hemimetabolous. Egg. Larva /nymph/naiad. Adult. Larvae. http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/compendium/mayfly.html. More Larvae. Life History.

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Ephemeroptera: Mayflies

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Ephemeroptera mayflies

Ephemeroptera: Mayflies


Ephemeroptera mayflies

  • In North America

  • 17 families

  • 680 species (569 in US)

  • PA species


Hemimetabolous

Hemimetabolous

Egg

Larva/nymph/naiad

Adult


Larvae

Larvae

http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/compendium/mayfly.html


More larvae

More Larvae


Life history

Life History

  • Usually one generation/yr, some have two; others may take 2 years/generation (tend to be larger species)

  • Eggs always laid in water; hatch in 1 week to several months; diapause may last up to 11 months

  • Larval stage lasts 3-6 mos (range 10 days-2 yrs); molt many times (more than any other aquatic insect: 12-27 times; 45x in some species); may vary even within species

  • Emergence:

    • Float to surface, use exuvium as raft; better be quick!

    • Crawl to edge (~5cm) to emerge


Life history continued

Life History continued

  • Have unique subimago life stage: the only flying insect that is not fully developed, i.e., sexually mature

  • Wings are dull and semitransparent due to fine hairs

  • Subimagos of same species and habitat usually synchronize emergence…why?

  • Subimago lasts ~ 24 hrs (range: minutes to 2 days)

  • Adult is imago-has shiny wings


Subimago aka dun

Subimago (aka dun)


Adult or imago aka spinner

Adult or Imago (aka spinner)


Reproduction

Reproduction

  • Adult lives 24 hrs (range: 90 minutes to 2 days); don’t feed-have no mouth parts and degenerate digestive systems

  • Males-only swarm over water; have distinctive swarming behavior

  • Lay eggs and die; some explode!


Significance ecological role

Significance & Ecological Role

  • Mass emergences may be annoying (Put-in-Bay snowplows; Port Clinton brownout)

  • Most are sensitive to pollution, hence are clean water indicators

  • Feed mostly on algae, plant material, detritus

  • Are the mice and rabbits of the aquatic ecosystem: convert much of the plant matter into animal flesh

  • An essential link in the food chain


Adults

Adults


Trout must be really dumb

Trout must be really dumb


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