Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Different Kind of Spring Ephemeral

I don't know much about mayflies of the Pacific Northwest. But I've been seeing them lately hanging out on the outside of my greenhouse. According to Wikipedia, they belong to a group of insects called Ephemeroptera. They're aquatic insects, which in the adult stage have a very short lifespan, from a few minutes to a few days. The nymphs live longer than a year, in a body of water. The adults' primary function is to reproduce. They have vestigial mouthparts, which apparently are not used for eating (what a bummer that would be), and a digestive system full of air.



Not as pretty as butterflies or dragonflies, but then, they hold still longer.

6 comments:

  1. Interesting! Don't think I've ever seen one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ditto with Peter, haven't seen one before!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never seen one either. That dual tail looks scary though. I wonder if they sting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. very cool, Alison - thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting! I don't know that I've seen one but there have been more than normal amounts of bugs/mosquito's out in the eves. Really seems early.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great photos! I know very little about mayflies, except that fish love them and the larvae need fairly clean water to survive. Ecologists use their presence as one sign of a healthy stream. Living in the country and hiking in wild areas, I see quite a few of them. In answer to Grace's pondering, mayflies do not sting.

    ReplyDelete

Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.