Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The Mayfly, first cousin to the dragonfly and damselfly. The males live one hour to a day. But if you think that is short lived, wait until I tell you how long the poor little females live.

"About 2,500 species are known worldwide, including about 630 species in North America. Common names for mayflies include "dayfly", "shadfly", "Green Bay Flies", "Canadian soldier", and "fish fly".

"The mayfly Dolania Americana in which females typically live less than five minutes is the shortest lived of these, and is therefore the insect with the shortest reproductive life (Sweeney & Vannote 1982). During this time, to reproduce, they must find a mate, copulate, and lay their eggs back into the water from which they so recently emerged".

University of Florida Book of Insect Records
Chapter 37 Shortest Reproductive Life

Wow God! That is a lot to ask of one little female fly. LOL..not that I am questioning you. NO sirree.


JunieRose2005 said...

My goodness!!

Very interesting!

I don't think I know these insects at all!


Cosmo said...

Names are funny things. I first encountered your Mayfly years ago, at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, lovely little gossamer things (I had no idea about their lifespan). Then I moved to Virginia, where the Mayfly describes a very different creature (I think they're called deer flies elsewhere)--an iridescent, triangular biting fly that is one of Virginia gardeners' nemeses. I wish we had yours instead.

Cindy said...

That's really fascinating. And something to think about when your waiting around for 5 minutes, think of all she has to do in that time. And that's it. Amazing.

cindee said...

Yikes those poor ladies. 5 Mins is all they get? That would be terrible. They must be flying fast!

Frances, said...

Hi Eve, that does put things into perspective. We have mayflies here, not always in May either. There are huge hatchings with many flying around at once. Now I understand their desperate efforts. So little time?

tina said...

That's a quickie!

Susie said...

Poor little girlie Mayflies! That's a lot to do in 5 or so minutes.

Skeeter said...

As a child in Tennessee, we called them Willow flies. We would be attacked by them when we went camping at the lake. When I say attacked, I mean attacked! They would be swarming all over the place and would cling to your clothes, they dont bite but enough to freak out a kid. I took the Saint to the lake once when they were hatching out and he was freaking out, I was just laughing as they did not bother me as I knew they were harmless. I don’t recall seeing them much here in Georgia…

Gail said...

Thank you for identifying the Mayfly. I've seen it but didn't know what it was. I never knew so much could be accomplished in so short a time...5 minutes!

Renna said...

LOL at your last line! ;-Þ

DP Nguyen said...

OH WOW~~~ What an interesting and sad life. Only 5 minutes to do what we humans take a lifetime to do? And sometimes we can't even do all of that. lol. crazy.

Lucy Stern said...

Five minutes is NO a long lifespan, I am glad I am not a fly...

Your garden veggies look great...Our tomatoes are just about gone. The heat has taken it's tole and it is time to pull up the plants and get ready for a fall garden.

sexy1689 said...