#Biodiversity150 number 53 of 150 Ephemeroptera

53/150: If you think adulting is hard as a human, try it as a mayfly where you only have a single day to reproduce!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Ephemeroptera: Siphlonuridae: Siphlonurus: Siphlonurus alternatus (Say, 1824)

The great Carl Sagan once said that “Compared to a star, we are like mayflies, fleeting ephemeral creatures who live out their lives in the course of a single day”. While this is indeed true for adult mayflies, whose order classification “Ephemeroptera” is coined from the term ephemeral, it is not entirely accurate. The primary objective of adult mayflies is to reproduce; they don’t even eat! Some males may only live a few hours while females can live a few days. However, mayfly larvae spend up to two years foraging at the bottom of streams and rivers before becoming adults. Along with other aquatic insect larvae, specifically caddisflies and stoneflies, they are one of the most commonly used indices of aquatic ecosystem health. These insects are found in a wide variety of habitats and are very sensitive to pollution, therefore their presence in the water is a strong indicator of a healthy ecosystem. On the other hand, their synchronized emergence as adults can sometimes be an inconvenience to those living near rivers where massive mayfly swarms can be common, not necessarily occurring in May. There are currently 19,475 specimens with barcodes on BOLD. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150 #aquaticinsects #indicatorspecies #healthyecosystem

Adult Mayfly – Specimen 09NBMAY-0052 – St. John River, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada – 07-Jul-2008. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
The mayfly nymph has external gills projecting from its abdomen making it highly sensitive to its environment. Photo Credit: Ian Alexander goo.gl/YVrjct
Hundreds of mayflies at a night sheet. Photo Credit: Kate Perez, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  EPHNB052-09

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Ephemeroptera

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAA4673