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This topic is about the Insect Order Ephemeroptera

Mayflies may be the most important insects for trout anglers to understand. They are an ancient order of insects, famous outside the fly-fishing world for their fragile beauty and short adult lifespan, often a single day to mate and die. The mayfly's poignant drama attracts poets and anglers alike, but anglers make the most of it.

Mayflies live more than 99% of their lives as nymphs on the river or lake bottom, filling many crucial roles in freshwater ecosystems as they feed and grow. They eventually emerge from the water as winged sub-adults called "subimagos" by scientists and "duns" by anglers. Duns evolved to be good at escaping the water, with a hydrophobic surface and hardy build, but they are clumsy fliers. Within a day or two they molt one last time into "imagos" or "spinners," the mature adults, a transformation captured in this photo series of a dun molting into a spinner. They have longer legs and tails, and sleeker, more lightweight bodies, giving them the airborne speed, agility, and long grasp they need for their midair mating rituals. They are usually darker than the duns and have shinier, more transparent wings. They die within minutes or hours after mating. Read more...

There are 694 more specimens...

The Discussion

KGotzMay 31st, 2008, 8:36 am
South Carolina

Posts: 1
I have what I believe to be these Mayflies all over my house. They swarm and fly into you. I have found hundreds of exoskeletons all over my window screens. I do not want them here. When will they leave....

Please help. I have pictures if anyone can help me determine if this is the right insect.

Kim Gotz
South Carolina
TroutnutMay 31st, 2008, 12:57 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2459
They probably are mayflies. Each species is usually only around for a week or so, so they'll go away on their own (until the same time next year). If you're right near a river and you just moved in, this might be a regular issue you've got, with a variety of different species. If so, the only thing I can recommend is not leaving many lights on at night. (They fly to your house because they're attracted by the lights at night.) Of course, you could always sell your house to somebody who likes having lots of mayflies around, too...
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Jjlyon01May 31st, 2008, 3:07 pm
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse

Posts: 71
Choose me I'll take it
"I now walk into the wild"
CaseyPJune 1st, 2008, 7:53 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
you could always sell your house to somebody who likes having lots of mayflies around

or here's a deal: when you figure out which week(s) that the mayflies are there, make a house swap with one of us and we'll all come down and look after your lovely home, and you can enjoy Our Nation's Capital, or beautiful central Pennsylvania, or an equally lovely part of New York, or places further west. we're from all over around here--you could take your pick, i'm sure!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Ffhd1cltJune 27th, 2008, 8:12 am
Posts: 1Kim,
I live on Lake Norman outside of Charlotte, and the Mayflies have hit today. Huge swarms of them are flying in my backyard, and they are thick on my house nad on the treees and shrubs. They can be quite annoying, but here's the good news: They only come around once a year, and only stay around about a week (most of them only live about a day as adults). They are harmless to humans and our pets. And finally, if you have Mayflies around, you know that your lake or stream is healthy. They can't live in polluted water, which is important because they are born in the water.

Lake Norman, NC

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