Currently viewing the category: "Mayflies"

Subject:  Please Identify
Geographic location of the bug:  Lake Chelan, WA
Date: 09/09/2021
Time: 12:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Approximately 2″ from antennae to end of “stinger.”  Yellow.   Still for hours.  On shady side of pole.  Both big and little lacey wings.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Beatrice


Dear Beatrice,
This is a Mayfly in the insect order Ephemeroptera, a group that does not feed as adults.  They are short lived and because they often appear in great numbers, they are an important food source for fish, birds and other insects.

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.


Subject:  What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Iowa
Date: 08/15/2018
Time: 11:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you please help identify this bug?  it was trying to burrow into the siding on my house.  Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks

Small Squaregilled Mayfly

This proved to be quite a challenge for us, but we eventually found this BugGuide image (which is eerily similar to your image) and this BugGuide image of a Small Squaregilled Mayfly in the genus Caenis.  There is a nice image on Yobi Adventures.  Mayflies have aquatic larvae and adults are generally found near bodies of water.  We believe you were mistaken in your interpretation that it was trying to burrow into the siding of your house.  Mayflies are popular bait for fly fishermen and many tied lures used by anglers are patterned after Mayflies.   

Subject:  Mosquito / may fly / dragon fly with tail
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Island, NY
Date: 05/29/2018
Time: 01:43 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These long tailed flies are swarming our house.  They don’t move much. They just sit on the screens and doors -Many until they die. We’re presuming they hatched from dirty rain gutters from a house we just bought. Some seem to be coming from vents outside that lead to the attic.  Please don’t let them be in the attic… They have long curved bodies and long tails.  We have a newborn and are nervous about them getting in because there are thousands of them. It’s like a scary movie bug swarm. Hoping they hate human blood.  Are they a beneficial fly that will prey on a nuisance species or are they out to get us? Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Concerned new parents.


Dear Concerned new parents,
Other than being a nuisance when they are numerous, Mayflies like the one in the image you submitted are perfectly harmless and they will not harm you or your home.  The larvae of Mayflies are aquatic, so we suspect you are near some body of water.

I’m about half a mile from a river. But there was a lot of standing water all over this property before we took ownership of it.

Subject:  Unknown flying insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Anthem, AZ
Date: 03/13/2018
Time: 11:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found a number of these while fishing a small urban pond. They seem to have a single pair of wings and three ‘tails’ for lack of a better term. I was fishing all day and these seemed to appear in greater number in the late afternoon to evening hours and seemed harmless enough.
How you want your letter signed:  Brian

White Mayfly

Dear Brian,
Though we recognized your insect as a Mayfly in the order Ephemeroptera, its appearance is quite different from other Mayflies in our archives.  We identified your individual as a White Mayfly, possibly
Ephoron album which is pictured on BugGuide, and though BugGuide does not report any sightings in Arizona, there are sightings from nearby Colorado and Utah.

Subject: Friendly winged insect
Location: South Pasadena, CA
August 12, 2017 7:19 pm
Hello Mr. Bugman,
This bug alighted on my plate this evening at dinner on the patio. Curious to know what it is.
Signature: Emily


Dear Emily,
This is a Mayfly, and we are confident it is in the genus
Callibaetis which we discovered on Wayne’s Word and we verified on BugGuide that it might be Callibaetis pallidus.  Another species in the genus pictured on BugGuide that looks quite similar is Callibaetis californicus.  Mayfly nymphs are aquatic, so there must be some nearby body of water that will allow the nymphs to develop.  Winged adults are feeble fliers that cannot travel great distances.