The Unique Features Of Mayfly And Classification

Filed under: Interesting Facts About The Mayfly - 16 May 2012  | Spread the word !

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The mayfly is a small insect and one of the most interesting species in the world. It belongs to the Order Ephemeroptera, in Greek meaning “Short lived” and “wing”. This insect is aquatic and its immature stage lasts almost a year and takes places in the water. Under rocks near streams, decaying plants or sediments are the best places where it lives. One of the main features that makes it different from other similar insects are the pair of gills  on the dorsum of the abdomen. It also features three long cerci or tails at the end if the body. There is also other thing that makes this insect unique. It’s about the fact that moults one more time, a process which is known as alate stage. Nonetheless, as well as many other insects, its life span is very short, but it also varies depending on species. This small and interesting insect was called one-day or one-day fly due to its short life span. An interesting phenomenon takes place related to this insect. It’s related to fact that many such creatures mature at the same time, so at that time is a wonderful show seeing them fly and dancing in the air. Although there are several species, four of them are extinct- Pentagenia robusta and Ephemera compar.The classification has several suborders such as Schistonota and Pannota.

The wings of this small creature are membranous, look as those of a butterfly and also feature a great venation. Adults feature large compound eyes, large and short antennae, as well as  three ocelli. The males have larger eyes than the females and and front legs are also longer to grasp females during the mating process. Other unique things about this insect refers to the fact that it possess paired genitalia. Briefly, this means that the female has two gonopores and the male two penises.

There are still many things to find out about the mayfly. Some scientists are not so sure that the two species extinct. The threatened  species is called Tasmanophlebi lacus-coerulei, also known as the large blue lake mayfly. The oldest insect from the same family dates from Lower Cretaceous Siberian amber, many fossils being discovered throughout time. This fragile insect managed to resist to many climate changes that took place and at present is one of the most interesting insects in the world.

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