Zoology

Mayfly Nymphs



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Mayfly Nymphs, a brief question and answer survey.

1)      What is the classification of the organism for its adult form?

2)      Where and when is this organism usually found in the environment?

3)      What is the major food source of this organism? Does it serve as food for the other animals?

4)      What is the major function of this organism in the environment?

5)      What effect can this organism if there are larger numbers? Smaller numbers?

6)      What effect might this organism have on the chemical composition of the creek?


1)      Phylum Arthropoda>Class Insecta>Order Ephemeroptera>Family (Nine Australian Families)

2)      They are found under stones in fast-flowing water or among plants in slow streams or in small borrows at the bottom of the stream.  Some are flat and cling to the bottom of rocks in fast-flowing streams and cool, more permanent water bodies like streams and lakes.  They are very sensitive, sensitive to low levels of Oxygen in water;  they prefer cool water as it dissolves Oxygen more easily there than in warm water.  They are sensitive to chemical pollution, the flow rate of waterways, and sunlight.

3)      They are eaten by fish, frogs, and water beetles.  They are either herbivores or detrivores feeding on decaying matter and feed on top of stones and retreat underneath to escape predators.  Some species are collectors. Filter-feeding on material floating in the water, while others are scrapers, scraping plant material from rocks.

4)      Their major function is to provide a food source for many pond and/or creek animals (especifically fish) and to help determine the water’s quality.  A greater population of mayfly nymphs allows for a more well-fed pond.  Generally, if more are found in a certain sample of water, the surrounding habitat is flourishing.

5)      Larger numbers discourage mating, but they help increase the fish population since they are food for mainly fish, frogs, and water beetles.  They also indicate good water quality in large numbers.  But sometimes, in the summer, their populations become so large as to disturb humans.  Smaller numbers restrict food sources for different animals, particularly fish.







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