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Mayfly - Ephemeroptera - side face
Mayfly - Ephemeroptera - side face

Mayflies (Ephemeroptera), also called dayfly, shadfly, green bay flies, canadian soldier, lake fly and fishfly, are an order of flying insects. Mayflies have existed since about 200 million years ago. Approximately 2800 species are found worldwide, over 100 of which are encountered in Central Europe. Some examples of these species are: Tisza mayfly (Palingenia longicauda), brown mayfly (Ephemera vulgata) and green drake (Ephemera danica).
Mayfly - Ephemeroptera
Mayfly - Ephemeroptera
Mayflies reach body lengths of 3-120 mm. Their bodies can be yellow, green or grey in colour. The forewings are larger than the rear wings and are held upright in resting position. The wings are crystal clear with distinctive veins, and can sometimes have dark spots. The surface of their large compound eyes is divided into two areas, one directed upwards the other directed to the sides. The mouth parts of mayflies are not functional (adults do not eat), and their antennae are small. At the rear end of the abdomen are 2 thread-like appendages (cerci) and sometimes an additional terminal thread. These appendages are segmented and are longer than the body. Mayfly breathe through tracheae.
Mayflies always live near water. Their life expectancy ranges from a few minutes to a few days. The females lay their eggs on standing or flowing fresh water. The newly hatched larvae breathe through tracheal gills. They feed on algae, plant parts and tiny crabs. Larval development usually takes 1 year, but can take up to 3 years depending on the species. During this period the larvae shed their? skin - up to 30 times. In the final stage of development the sub-imagos (pre-adults) hatch from the larvae. The sub-imagos have milky coloured wings. The sub-imagos shed their skin to become sexually mature mayflies which have transparent wings.. Since all mayflies hatch at the same time, they occur en masse.

Further chapters of "Mayflies"
- Pond olive dun
Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Mayfly - Ephemeroptera - side face
2. Mayfly - Ephemeroptera
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