Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Mayflies

For some reason I never see Mayflies at any of my regular local haunts so I was surprised to find this one at a nearby site in early June. It was on its own sitting in the grass with no sign of any other individuals in the vicinity.

Mayflies have an unusual life cycle and typically spend 2 years living in rivers, streams or lakes as a nymph. They then emerge in their adult form and often create mating swarms above the water. However, this adult stage is short-lived and typically only lasts for a day or two. As a result of this short life span, the adult Mayfly doesn't actually eat. Its sole purpose is reproduction!

I believe this individual is Ephemera danica, one of the UK's most common species of Mayfly.


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