Currently viewing the category: "Mayflies"
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

Subject: My Friend Made a Creepy Friend At Work
Location: Chatanooga, TN
July 26, 2013 7:04 am
My friend works at a restaurant and found the attached little guy just chilling on her prep work table. She said that he didn’t seem to be in a hurry to move, even when she poked at him – he jumped a little and vibrated his wings, but that was about it. They ended up gently corralling him into a paper cup and putting it back inside, but we have exhausted our Googling to figure out what this cool thing is!
Signature: Heather

Mayfly

Mayfly

Hi Heather,
This is a Mayfly, and we have an extensive archive of photos of Mayflies with much information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug with a flower butt?
Location: Penhook,VA
May 26, 2013 4:44 am
I saw this bug last summer at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia (near Roanoke). It is on a size 10 flip flop in the photo. And it appeared to have a flower growing out of the hind end.
Signature: Collins, VA

Mayfly

Mayfly

Hi Collins,
This insect is a Mayfly in the order Ephemeroptera.  The flower is most likely just detritus that has accidentally stuck to the Mayfly, perhaps just after metamorphosis when the insect was softer and damp.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help ID these bugs
Location: Maryland
May 14, 2013 4:08 pm
We have these every year on the side of the house. They seem to like the shade. They don’t appear to an issue. There’s just alot of them. I haven’t been able to ID them.
Signature: Mike

Mayfly

Mayfly

Hi Mike,
You must live near a source of fresh water.  This is a Mayfly and they have aquatic larvae.  When it is time for metamorphosis to the winged adult, they often emerge in large numbers.  Mayflies to not eat as adults, and generally live a few days at most, long enough to mate and reproduce.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What type of Mayfly is this?
Location: Columbia, MO
April 29, 2013 5:17 pm
A fly fishing buddy and I are trying to identify the name of this mayfly. Any help would be appreciated. I took this picture on my back porch in Columbia, MO on 4/29/13 at 7pm.
Signature: DocChad

Mayfly

Possibly Flatheaded Mayfly

Hi DocChad,
We tend to be amateur generalists here at What’s That Bug? and we are not very good at keying out difficult species.  With that said, this Mayfly appears to be very similar to this image posted to BugGuide that is identified as being in the family Heptageniidae, the Flatheaded Mayflies.

Flatheaded Mayfly, we believe.

Flatheaded Mayfly, we believe.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: yellow bugs in kansas lake bathrooms
Location: kansas
August 2, 2012 5:28 am
They climb on walls and fly. They act a lot like moths but are very easy to catch.
Signature: amber

Golden Mayfly

Hi Amber,
This insect is a Mayfly in the insect order Ephemeroptera.  We believe based on its size and color, it is a Golden Mayfly in the genus
Hexagenia, and it might also be called a Giant Mayfly or a Burrowing Mayfly.  According to BugGuide they are:  “Very large mayflies. Usually pale golden yellow at least when freshly emerged, i.e., subimago.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Adults emerge in evening, disperse widely, coming to lights–often far from bodies of water.”  The proximity of the bathrooms to the lakes and the lights at night are solid reasons why these Golden Mayflies are congregating at the bathrooms.  This individual is a subimago.  Mayflies are the only insects known to molt while in the winged form, and the initial molt from nymph to winged adult is called the subimago.  A second molt occurs soon after and the Mayfly is in its fully adult, reproductive form.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination