Currently viewing the category: "Mayflies"
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Subject: Yellow and Black with a whip tail
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
July 11, 2014 7:51 pm
Dear Bugman:
A friend found this bug on her windshield wiper. It was at night on July 11, 2014.
Thanks in Advance!
Signature: Curious Mark

Mayfly

Mayfly

Hi Curious Mark,
This is a Mayfly in the order Ephemeroptera, and we are speculating that you are near some body of water as the Mayfly nymphs or naiads are aquatic, and adults are feeble fliers that do not travel great distances.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: march brown or sulphur?
Location: western maryland, usa
May 16, 2014 4:47 am
March Brown or Sulphur? In a debate with a buddy. North Branch Potomac river, May 13, 2014
Signature: SRA

Mayfly

Mayfly

Dear SRA,
This debate will most likely take someone with far greater Mayfly identification skills than our own.  From our research, the March Brown is a European species,
Rhithrogena germanica, and it is not found in North America, so we would eliminate that as an identity of the individual in your images.  The images of the March Browns on the First Nature website have patterned wings like the ones in your submitted images, but the pattern appears to be distinctly different.  According to Trout Nut, the Sulphur Dun is Ephemerella invaria, and that species, as pictured on BugGuide, does not have patterned wings, so we don’t believe that is the correct identity for this Mayfly either.  We tried browsing through the images on BugGuide, and this might be Hexagenia bilineata based on this BugGuide image as well as this Bugguide image.  We are looking at the darker border on the hind wings and the shape of the eyes as distinguishing features.  There is no common name for Hexagenia bilineata on BugGuide, however the genus is know collectively as the Giant Mayfly, Golden Mayfly or Burrowing Mayfly, according to BugGuide.  Since BugGuide readers have different interests than anglers, and we are guessing you and your buddy are anglers, we tried to learn if there is a common name for Hexagenia bilineata among trout fishermen.  There is no common name on Trout Nut, but the site does state:  “These are huge mayflies. Hexagenia limbata, by far the most important species, is the second largest mayfly in the United States.”  Again we cannot confirm that our identification is correct, but we believe you are both incorrect.   

Mayfly

Mayfly

Thanks for the info  The insect was approximately a #12 (fly fisherman sizing)  I think the bilineata is a much larger (#06-08) mayfly than the one I sent.  Any other ideas?   PJ

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange looking bug in ohio
Location: Mason, oh
May 1, 2014 5:28 pm
A friend was walking around in the woods in ohio and stumbled across this weird looking bug(?) it almost looks like a scorpion and frog bred. What is it?!
Signature: Jackie

Naiad, possibly Mayfly

Naiad, possibly Mayfly

Hi Jackie,
This is the aquatic nymph of a flying insect, known as a Naiad.  It might be a Mayfly Naiad, and it looks very similar to this BugGuide image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identify bug
Location: Coimbra, Portugal
April 12, 2014 9:01 am
Hi,
I’m from Portugal, and I live in a village where you can find a lot of this kind of bug. Usually they’re in windows or walls, and they barely move. Sometimes I see one and in the next day it is in the same exact place. They look like they have wings but I never saw it fly, even when you lightly touch them. But they move! They look like they have two really big needles (but thin) on the bottom but they look inoffensive.
Signature: David

Mayfly

Mayfly

Hi David,
This is a Mayfly in the order Ephemeroptera, and winged adults do not eat and only live a few days, long enough to mate and reproduce.  Larval nymphs are aquatic and they are known as naiads.  Since adults are weak fliers, they are generally found near the water source that spawned them, so we expect there is a sluggish stream or pond nearby.  The threadlike tails or cerci are not harmful.  See Encyclopedia Britannica for more information on Mayflies.

Yes, there is a water source nearby. Thank you for your answer! Keep up the good work!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is it
Location: western wa state
March 25, 2014 11:07 am
Found in western wa state
Signature: sonny

Possibly Water Nymph?

Possibly Water Nymph?

Dear sonny,
Are you able to provide any additional details?  Was the sighting near water?  This is obviously a nymph, and the front half of its body looks aquatic, while the rear end looks arboreal.  We will attempt to discover this immature insect’s identity.  It is going to have really big eyes.

Immediate Update:  Small Western Green Drake
Hi again sonny.  We quickly identified this Small Green Drake,
Drunella coloradensis, on the Troutnut website.  Here is a photo from BugGuide, which reports sightings in the Pacific Northwest, including Washington.

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this winged insect?
Location: Southern Idaho. (Irrigated land)
January 30, 2014 12:52 pm
I snapped a few photos of this insect with upright laced type wings. Then I posted the photo on FB. Of course the first question was, ” What is it?” I searched the internet to no avail other than I believe that it is in the family Neuroptera. Can you help me identify it?
Signature: Puzzlebug

Mayfly

Mayfly

Dear Puzzlebug,
First off, Neuroptera is an order, a broader classification than a family.  Your Mayfly is in the order Ephemeroptera, which  according to BugGuide, originates from the: “Greek ephemeros ‘of/for a day; short-lived’ + pteron ‘wing’ — refers to the short-lived adults ['ephemeros' comes from epi 'upon' + hemera 'day'].”  Your individual is in the genus Hexagenia, and the common names are “Burrowing Mayfly, Giant Mayfly, Golden Mayfly”
according to BugGuide.  Mayflies are unique in that the adults or imago undergoes two molts.  The larvae of a Mayfly is aquatic and is known as a nymph or a naiad.  Upon reaching maturity, it leaves the water and molts, emerging as a winged pre-adult or subimago.  Shortly afterward, it molts a second time, emerging as a full adult or imago.  These Giant Mayflies are also prized bait for anglers who fly fish.  According to BugGuide, the anglers even distinguish between the subimago that has “wings cloudy in appearance, body dull and pubescent, with appendages somewhat shorter — but otherwise similar to imago” of a Mayfly which they call a dun and an adult that is called a spinner which has “wings usually transparent but sometimes patterned, held vertically and together above thorax when at rest”.  Since the wings appear cloudy, we believe this is a subimago.  Compare your individual to this image on BugGuide.  The position of the body of your Golden Mayfly conforms to BugGuide’s description:  “front legs often held forward and sometimes upward in front of head when at rest.”  Because of your northern location, we are speculating that this Golden Mayfly is Hexagenia limbata and you might enjoy reading more about it on TroutNut.  We are going to contact Eric Eaton to see if he can provide any additional information.

Hi Eric,
This giant mayfly is from southern Idaho, so I am guessing Hexagenia limbata, but BugGuide’s descriptions have me a bit confused.  The wings appear cloudy, so I would guess subimago, but the front legs are held in the position BugGuide indicates is used by the imago.  So, which is it?  Imago or subimago?  I lean subimago
Thanks
Daniel

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
I am not an expert on aquatic insects *at all,* so I’m hesitant to make a definitive statement.  I agree with the genus-level ID at the least.
It might be a subimago, especially if there is no shed exoskeleton close by.  Otherwise, it could be a freshly-molted imago.  The subimago emerges from the nymphal exoskeleton right on the water or very close by.  The imago emerges later, usually on vegetation, often some distance from water.
Eric

Thanks Eric,
Often we are asked to identify the exuviae of Mayflies, and when they are on the sides of homes, they definitely were left by the subimago after the final molt.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination