Subject: Is that a stinger?
Location: St. John’s Newfoundland
July 20, 2016 6:16 pm
Hi there,, saw this little creature tonight. I’ve lived in this area all my life and I don’t recall ever seeing one before. Any idea what this little (about 1.5 inches) guy might be? And is that a stinger on his back end? Thank you!
Signature: Curious on the Rock

Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!

Thank you for your quick response!  I’ve done a little research and it looks like my friend is a Mayfly!

Giant Mayfly
Giant Mayfly

We know you already identified your Mayfly, but it is such a nice image that we want to post it so our readers will learn to recognize Mayflies.  We believe your individual is a Giant Mayfly in the genus Hexagenia which we researched on BugGuide.  We also want to address your stinger question.  According to BugGuide, Mayflies have:  “usually three long thin tail projections (cerci); some species have only two cerci” but there is no further explanation.  The features of Mayflies are described on including “It also features three long cerci or tails at the end if the body.”  Once again, the purpose or function of the cerci are not explained.  We will continue to research this matter. 

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