Order Ephemeroptera


The mayflies have four triangular many-veined wings, the front pair being much larger than the hind pair. They have chewing mouthparts, but the adults do not feed. The antennae are short and difficult to see. Mayflies have two or three long, antenna-like appendages at the end of the abdomen. Metamorphosis is incomplete, the life stages being the egg, naiad, and adults. The naiads or young mayflies live in water. The adults are commonly found near streams, ponds and lakes and are attracted to light. The adults live but a few hours or days, but the naiads take from 1 to 3 years to develop.

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Family Ephemeridae

Hexagenia limbata (Serville) - Giant Mayfly

Size: largest common species in the state
Habitat: Rivers and Creeks, sometimes collected at lights far from streams.

**most of the images included in these pages are from the 'Insects in Kansas' Book. They are freely available for student and noncommercial use (according to their copyright agreement with each photographer) at the PDIS image site, http://www.pdis.org/default.aspx

For additional information on Ephemeroptera, check out the following websites: