Mayfly
( Ephemeroptera )


2009-0419-NF050002-EPH00894-Ephemeroptera[1432h57s,F,A,water]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Ephemeroptera
(Hyatt & Arms ,1891 )
Common Name:Mayfly
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order:Ephemeroptera
Taxon Code:EPH00894
ITIS/TSN:100502

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Klamath National Forest, Klamath National Forest, Klamath NF, Caribou Rd./Forest Route 37N24, Cecilville
County:Siskiyou County
ECI Site#:CANF050000
Open Space Location:Klamath NF

RECOGNITION
Description
Adult: Body delicate or "flimsy", varying from almost transparent to white, yellow, orange, green, brown, or black; thorax and abdomen bare, often shiny; legs slender, solid color; front legs often held forward and sometimes upward in front of head when at rest; forewings large, triangular, with many cross veins; hindwings much smaller than forewings (hindwings absent in some species); both wings usually transparent but sometimes patterned, held vertically and together above thorax when at rest. Pre-adult (subimago): Wings cloudy in appearance, body dull and pubescent, with appendages somewhat shorter - but otherwise similar to imago; pre-adults molt a final time to become adults. Nymph (usually called larva in mayflies): body elongate, flattened or cylindrical, usually greenish or brownish but color varies according to the type of food eaten; legs long; antennae short; abdomen with lateral plate-like gills and usually three long thin tail projections (cerci); some species have only two cerci.
Diversity
America, north of Mexico: 611 Species in 59 genera of 21 families. Worldwide: About 3,350 species in more than 440 genera of at least 42 families. California: 155 species in 44 genera and 15 families. Less than 10% of species are endemic to California.
Child Taxa
Families Ametropodidae, Baetidae, Baetiscidae, Caenidae, Ephemerellidae, Ephemeridae, Heptageniidae, Isonychiidae, Leptohyphidae, Leptophlebiidae, Polymitarcyidae, Potamanthidae, Pseudironidae and Siphlonuridae.

BIOLOGY
Food
Nymphs feed on pieces of organic matter such as plant material or algae and debris that accumulates on rocks or other substrates in flowing water (predation recorded in some) adults have no functional mouthparts and do not feed.
Habitat
Most nymphs develop in streams and rivers that are well-oxygenated and relatively free of pollution; some species develop in lakes or ponds, usually in shallow water where the oxygen content is highest. Adults may be found on vegetation near water, and are attracted to lights.
Importance
Adults and nymphs are an important source of food for fish and other aquatic wildlife. Anglers often use mayflies as bait.
Range
Worldwide and throughout North America; for ranges of nearctic species.
Diversity
America, north of Mexico: 611 Species in 59 genera of 21 families. Worldwide: About 3,350 species in more than 440 genera of at least 42 families. California: 155 species in 44 genera and 15 families. Less than 10% of species are endemic to California.
Active Period
Some emerge in late April (earlier in the south) but the greatest numbers first appear in May, and adults may be seen until September in the north; later, and perhaps around the year, in the far south.
Importance
Adults and nymphs are an important source of food for fish and other aquatic wildlife. Anglers often use mayflies as bait.
Development
Mating and oviposition. Adult males gather in mid-air swarms, usually 15-50 feet above the ground; females fly into the swarm, and mating occurs in flight. Females deposit eggs while flying low over the water, or by dipping the abdomen into the water; some species submerge themselves and lay eggs underwater. Development. Mayflies are hemimetabolous, that is, they undergo incomplete metamorphosis, a form of simple metamorphosis, and represent the only insect group whose members molt in winged condition. Nymphs (or naiads) develop through several (perhaps dozens) stages (instars) by molting. The number of molts varies depending on species, temperature, and water conditions. Mature nymphs swim to water surface or crawl onto rocks or plants, then molt into winged subadults (subimagos) which fly to nearby plants and molt again into adults (called imagoes). Adult lifespan ranges from 1.5 hours to two weeks; most adults live 48-72 hrs.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Order Ephemeroptera - Mayflies. (bugguide.net/node/view/78). Accessed January 21, 2017. .
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