Bug on Wet Wood
January 23, 2010
We pulled a stick out of the river while camping at the Great Basin National Park, and there were these bugs all over the stick.
Tyson Cramer
Great Basin National Park in Nevada

Mayfly Naiad

Hi Tyson,
Thanks for sending us such detailed images of Stonefly Naiads.  We are going to post all three of them because it is nice to have them clinging to their habitat.

Mayfly Naiad

According to the University of Kentucky Entomology website:  “Stonefly naiads occur in fast moving streams where they are most commonly found clinging to the undersides of rocks.  Many stonefly naiads are predators, feeding on other aquatic arthropods.  Naiads of other species eat plants and algae.  Although stonefly naiads were once very common in streams, they are very sensitive to pollution.  These days, stonefly naiads are only common in very clean water.  Stonefly adults can’t fly very well, and are usually found sitting on rocks near the streams where they emerged.  Many stonefly adults do not feed, others feed on algae, pollen, or other plant parts.  Stoneflies are a very important food source for fish and birds, and they are also eaten by spiders and predatory insects.”

Mayfly Naiad

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One Response to Mayfly Naiads, not Stonefly Naiads

  1. mantis says:

    I believe these are all actually mayfly nymphs, the first two appearing to have 3 tails and belonging to the family Ephemerellidae, or spiny crawlers. If you look closely you can see plate-like gills along the sides of the abdomen. The third is also a mayfly, but a 2-tailed variety, appearing to belong to the family Heptageniidae, or flat-head family.

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