The mayfly is one of the insects part of the short-lived orders of the insect world. Their short lifespan is the one through which they are categorized, as it is mostly one that lasts for a day. The longer lifespan is the one of the naiads, of the nymphs of these insects, which have the possibility of surviving in fresh water for about a year, as these are water insects. The adults, however, can live from a few minutes up to a few days, fact which depends on the species of the insect, as there are about 2,500 of these in the world.
The eggs, from which the naiads are born, have a long resistance in fresh waters, which depends on the species of the insect. Usually, these can last from a few months to a whole year, time in which they moult 20 to 30 times. They are laid on the surface of the lakes or streams and they sink to the bottom, where they mature until the moment of the maturation. Some of the naiads live in the more rocky parts of waters, where there is no vegetation, while others are more present in lakes, these also being the ones that are most prolific. Although they are only in the development stage of the insects, the naiads have the possibility to feed themselves. The main elements that are seen as food supplies are algae or diatoms, but some of the species also act as predators and feast on the other elements of the underwater world that they can catch.
The distinctive features of the mayfly naiads are the seven pairs of gills on the dorsum of the abdomen. They also have long cerci or tails, usually three of these, while others only have two of these long back tails. The process that they go through is known through the term of hemimetabolism, which refers to the fact that they go through an incomplete metamorphosis in their growth. The last moult is after the stage in which the naiads get their wings. As you can see the mayfly is a very interesting insect and the development stage of their growth, the phase in which they are naiads, is one of the most complex ones of their entire existence and definitely the longest one that they have to go through in order to mature properly.