Bug of the Month June 2019: Mayfly with white eyes

Subject:  White Eyed Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Bernville, Pennsylvania
Date: 05/27/2019
Time: 06:27 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this sitting on the door frame of my patio door. I am trying to identify it, and hoping you might be able to help.
How you want your letter signed:  Troy


Dear Troy,
This unusual creature is a Mayfly in the insect order Ephemeroptera.  This BugGuide image and this BugGuide image of individuals in the genus 
Maccaffertium closely match your specimen.  Mayflies are unusual in the insect world in that their final molt is divided into two phases, the first being called the subimago, and though it is winged, it is not fully mature.  A second molting that usually occurs within a few days produces the mature adult.  We are uncertain why the eyes on your individual and on some of the images posted to BugGuide are white.  Your images are beautiful.  Though it is a few days before the beginning of June, we have decided to post your submission as the Bug of the Month for June 2019.  We hope someone can clarify why the eyes on some Mayflies are white.  Our suspicion is that this is a newly molted individual and that the eyes will eventually darken.


2 thoughts on “Bug of the Month June 2019: Mayfly with white eyes”

  1. June 5, 2020 – I think I’ve seen a very similar, if not the same mayfly. If there is a way to post a picture in this comments block, please let me know. Location: Slate Run, PA


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