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Mayfly (Ephemeroptera)Mayfly (Ephemeroptera)Mayfly (Ephemeroptera)
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Mayfly Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
Common Name:
Most widely used name for this species
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
The place where something is found
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
1-1.5cm (0.4-0.6in)
Number Of Species:
The total number of recorded species
Average Lifespan:
The average time the animal lives for
1-2 months
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Green, Brown, Tan, Grey, Black, Yellow
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Forest and woodland close to water
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Algae, Larvae, Aquatic Plants
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Birds, Rodents, Reptiles
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Long bodies and large wings

Mayfly Location

Map of Mayfly Locations


The mayfly is medium-sized insect that is found in a variety of habitats all around the world. The mayfly is one of the most short-lived animals in the world and is most closely related to dragonflies and damselflies.

There are 2,500 known species of mayfly generally found close to water, all around the world with over 600 species of mayfly natively found in North America. Mayflies are extremely sensitive to pollution and can therefore only be found close to water that is of a high quality.

Mayflies have long narrow bodies and large wings, with a second set of smaller hind wings behind them (in a similar way to butterflies and moths). This allows the mayfly to have greater agility and power when it is in the air.

Adult mayflies tend to be herbivorous only really surviving on algae although there are a number of known mayfly species that prey on other insects. The adult mayfly has a very short lifespan which can be anywhere from to half an hour to a few weeks long.

The adult mayflies have a number of predators out of the water including amphibians such as frogs, toads and newts, small reptiles, birds and even rodents and mammals. However, the aquatic longer-lived mayfly nymphs too have predators including fish and amphibians.

The female mayfly can lays thousands of eggs at a time which she does so into the water. The mayfly nymph are aquatic and hatch in the water where they can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year to transform into an adult mayfly and head into the air.

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First Published: 18th January 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Jan 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Jan 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 18 Jan 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Jan 2010]