Caption: Mayfly aquatic larva nymph (Baetis sp.). Mayflies are insects which belong to the Order Ephemeroptera. They have been placed into an ancient group of insects termed the Paleoptera, which also contains the dragonflies and damselflies. They are aquatic insects whose immature stage (called naiad or nymph) usually lasts for a few months to as long as several years in fresh water. The naiad lives primarily in streams under rocks, decaying vegetation, or in the sediment. Most species feed on algae or diatoms, but there are a few predatory species. Mayfly naiads are distinctive in that most have seven pairs of gills on the dorsum of the abdomen. In addition, most possess three long cerci or tails at the end of their bodies. The adults are short-lived, from a few hours to a few days depending on the species. About 2,500 species are known worldwide, including about 630 species in North America. Common names for mayflies include "dayfly", "shadfly", "Green Bay Flies", "Canadian soldier", and "fishfly".
Magnification*: x12
Type: SEM
Copyright 2003 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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