Mayflies are aquatic insects. They spend most of their lives in the water as nymphs and then emerge as adults for only a short while. It is there that they mate and the female deposits eggs in the water. Mayflies are found throughout North America and worldwide. Most of the nymphs develop in streams and rivers that are relatively clean.
Despite their name, mayflies are active during the warmer months of the year (not just May). They tend to be grayish, yellowish or brownish and have long, thin abdomens. Mayfly larvae are aquatic and found in nearly all types of water bodies, from streams to lakes. The larvae is often used as a bioindicator species to measure health of the water. The mayfly larvae feed on detritus and other plant materials. Some may feed on insects. The adults do not feed.
Did you know?
There are over 600 species of mayfly in the United States and 3,000 worldwide.