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Mayfly

Mayfly Facts

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderEphemeroptera
Common NameMayfly
Scientific NameEphemeroptera
FoundWorldwide
DietOmnivore
Size1-1.5cm (0.4-0.6in)
Number of Species2,500
Average Lifespan1-2 months
Conservation StatusThreatened
ColourGreen, Brown, Tan, Grey, Black, Yellow
Skin TypeShell
Favourite FoodAlgae
HabitatForest and woodland close to water
Average Litter Size1,000
Main PreyAlgae, Larvae, Aquatic Plants
PredatorsBirds, Rodents, Reptiles
Special FeaturesLong bodies and large wings

Mayfly Location

Map of Mayfly Locations

Mayfly

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 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.