Location: Nottingham, UK
June 4, 2017 6:56 am
Pic taken in Nottingham, UK, June 2017
Signature: Gerold Baier
Your image is beautiful. This is NOT a Damselfly. It is a Mayfly in the order Ephemeroptera. We found a perfect match to your individual on Wildlife Trust, but alas, it is not identified to the species level, though the site does state: “There are 51 species of mayfly in Britain. They are common around freshwater wetlands, from fast-flowing rivers to still lakes, where the larvae spend their lives underwater feeding on algae and plants. The adults hatch out, usually in the summer, and have very short lives (just hours in some cases) during which they display and breed; hatchings of hundreds of adult mayflies in the same spot at the same time often occur. Many species do not feed as adults as their sole purpose is to reproduce and once they have mated, they die. The common name is misleading as many mayflies can be seen all year-round, although one species does emerge in synchrony with the blooming of Hawthorn (or ‘Mayflower’).” We believe we have identified your species as Ephemera vulgata thanks to BugLife which states: “Mayflies are unique as insects in having two winged adult stages. After emerging from the water they fly to the bank where they shelter on the underside of leaves or in the grass. They then moult again, leaving behind their drab ‘dun’ skin to reveal their shiny ‘spinner’ skin. Following this moult they fly back to the water and form mating swarms dancing above the surface.” We are post-dating your submission to go live to our site later in the month while our editorial staff is away on holiday.