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Mayfly
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
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Common Name: Mayfly

Order: Ephemeroptera

Family: Baetidae


Pest Status: Mayflies are beneficial insects in aquatic ecosystems, both as an important source of fish food and also because their presence or absence can indicate water pollution.

Appearance: Mayflies are soft-bodied insects with very short antennae and two long cerci at the end of the abdomen. Most adult mayflies have two pairs of wings, with the second pair being much smaller than the first.

Life Cycle: Adults are short-lived, surviving only one or two nights. The eggs are deposited while flying low over the water. The immature stages develop through several instars, but the precise number of molts varies depending on the species. The larvae swim to the water surface before they become adults, then fly off to mate. The adult stage is very short.

Where to Collect: Mayflies are found around streams, lakes, or ponds and are attracted to lights.