Palingeniidae

These are the spiny-headed burrowing mayflies, and their habits include living in the bottom oflarge streams and rivers. These are relatively large mayflies. Their wings have more than four longitudinal cross-veins, and the legs are well developed in both sexes. The male pronotum is short and about three times as wide as long; the caudal filaments of the female are shorter than the body.

Long-tailed mayfly, Tisza mayfly, Palingenia longicauda

Adults are about 10 cm including the long caudal filaments. The body is yellowish brown and the wings of the female are nearly clear; the membranes of the frontwings of the male are light blue. Eggs are laid on the water surface and they sink to the bottom; hatching occurs in about 45 days. Larvae live in tunnels on the bottom, and may occur in dense groups of 400 larval tunnels per square meter. Development may take as long as 3 years. Females usually fly 1-3 km before laying eggs. This is one of the largest mayflies in Europe, and it is primarily distributed in the Tisza river, Hungary. Adult emergences can be very large and adults can become numerous in urban areas along the Tisza river.

Other mayflies In the USA, the mayflies reported as occurring in large numbers include Ephoron album and Ephemera simulans. In Latin America, Tortopus spp. have been reported in large numbers.

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