Our Earth is full of fascinating creatures that span from massive Blue Whales to invisible-to-naked-eyes microbes. Each one of the animal species has some characteristic that make them special and unique. The Mayfly is one such unique creature that we will learn about today. In this article on Mayfly facts, we will learn something startling that we will stay stupefied for quite some time. So, instead of wasting time any further, let us learn about this incredible bugs. But before we start with the list of facts about Mayfly, let us take a quick look at their scientific classification.
|Suborder||Pannota and Schistonota|
Quick table on Mayfly Facts:
|Common Names||Mayfly, One-Day Flies|
|Diet (larval stage)||Omnivore|
|Diet (subadult and adult stage)||They cannot eat because of absence of functional mouth|
|Lifespan||Few minutes to a few days|
|Habitat||Woodlands and Forests close to water|
|Color||Yellow, Black, Grey, Tan, Brown, Green|
|Size||0.12 inches to 1.18 inches (3 mm to 30 mm)|
|Ecological Importance||Capable of surviving only in clean water and hence, are indicators of water pollution|
Now that we have the scientific classification in our hands, we can move on to Mayfly facts list. We are sure you will love these facts:
Mayfly Facts: 1-5 | Other Names, Classification, Very Ancient
1. Mayfly is known by several names. In United States, people call them Canadian Soldiers. In Michigan and Canada, they are known by the names fishflies and shadflies. In United Kingdom, they are known by the name Up-Winged flies. They also go by the names salmon flies and June bugs.
2. In case you have noticed in the table above, we did not mention the ‘genus’ and the ‘family’ they belong to. We stopped at ‘suborder’. That’s because they come from 400 different genera and 42 different families with a total of 3,000 different species!
3. Mayflies are really really ancient. That’s the reason why they are put in the division called ‘Palaeoptera’, which is basically a very ancient group of insects. Just how ancient are Mayflies? Read on…
4. Mayflies have been around for some 350 million years. This means that they existed even before the dinosaurs came to existence and they survived the K-T Extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs.
5. A coupe of traits that tell scientists that Mayflies were among world’s most primitive flying insects are:
- They have long tails – a trait of ancient insects.
- They are incapable of folding their wings flat over their abdomen – another trait of ancient insects.
Mayfly Facts: 6-10 | Description of Mayfly (Nymphs or Naiads)
6. Nymphs are the immature Mayflies. They are also known by the name Naiads. The Nymphs have elongated cylindrical bodies. The bodies are little bit flattened. The Nymphs go through various stages. At each stage, the size of the body increases.
7. Nymphs are aquatic and that live under water for nearly 2 to 3 years. During this time, they undergo about 20 instars or transformation phases.
8. In the Nymphal stage (basically the larval stage), the Mayflies have very robust legs that are fully covered with hair, spines or bristles. They also have gills designed for breathing under water.
9. In the Nymphal stage, they eat tiny pieces of already dead animals and plants. They also feed on tiny living plants under water.
10. When the Nymphs emerge from water, they get into a stage known as Subimago. This is a subadult phase where the Mayflies will have fully functional wings, will be fully terrestrial but, they will not reach the sexual maturity.