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(invertebrate zoology)
The mayflies, an order of exopterygote insects in the subclass Pterygota.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(mayflies), an order of winged insects having two similar winged phases, the subimago and imago, which are separated by a molt. During these phases, which have a duration ranging from several seconds to several days, the insects do not feed. Some species live for only one day.

The mouthparts are vestigial, and the alimentary canal has been transformed into an air bladder. The forewings have a rich network of venation and are larger than the hind wings. Sometimes hind wings are absent. The tip of the abdomen has three segmented filaments—a pair of long, lateral cerci and one median paracercus, which is sometimes much shorter than the other two.

The mayfly undergoes incomplete metamorphosis. It has a large number of larval stages (as many as 25), and development takes place in the water for one to three years.

There are 23 widely distributed families, embracing more than 2,000 species. The USSR has 17 families, with more than 200 species. Mayflies all inhabit freshwaters, but they represent various ecological groups and have adapted to various living conditions (undergrowth, mud, rapids, soil). The larvae are food for many valuable commercial fishes, including salmon and white-fish. Ephemeropteran fossils are important in stratigraphy.


Opredelitel’ nasekomykh Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR, vol. 1, pages 110–36. Edited by G. Ia. Bei-Bienko. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
YPM IP 237253, Narragansettichnus fortunatus new ichnogenus and ichnospecies, the body imprint of an insect (probably ephemeropteran) from the Pennsylvanian Rhode Island Formation of Massachusetts, with an interpretive line drawing.
The chironomids (species of the genera Cricotopus and Polypedilum), oligochaetes (mainly Naididae), the hirudinean Erpobdella octoculata, the trichopteran Agraylea multipunctata, the ephemeropteran Caenis sp., and the amphipods Gmelinoides fasciatus and Pontogammarus robustoides colonized the drifting algae (Fig.
Terrestrial invertebrates (22.8%) were the second ranked prey taxa consumed by common shiner, whereas trichopterans (mainly leptocerids) (22.5%) and ephemeropterans (mainly baetids) (10.3%) were important taxa in the diet of cutlip minnow.
Sculpin from 15% embedded streams consumed ephemeropterans and megalopterans.
bonariensis in two lakes of the Pantanal, where smaller fish preyed mostly on chironomids and larger ones preyed mostly on ephemeropterans. This pattern can be attributed to differences in energy requirements and morphological limitations (Abelha et al., 2001; Rezende and Mazzoni, 2006).
Buried leaf litter in our study was primarily colonized by chironomids as well as a few simuliids and ephemeropterans (Family Baetidae).
Ephemeropterans were second most abundant (30% occurrence, 13% by weight), followed by terrestrial insects (20%, 9%), and trichopterans (18%, 4%).
Among aquatic insects, the behavioral and life-history responses of larval ephemeropterans (Malmqvist and Sjostrom, 1987; Peckarsky, 1996; Vance-Chalcraft et al., 2004) and trichopterans (Fairchild and Holomuzki, 2005; Gall and Brodie, 2009) have been especially well-documented.
In the main channel, the ephemeropteran Family Baeticidae and the dipteran larvae of Family Chironomidae were almost equally abundant, 22.46% and 22.94%, respectively.