Families of the Order Ephemeroptera Discovered
in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Can't find the families you are looking for? Note:
Families on this list are only those contained
in the ATBI database,
and do not neccessarily include
all Park families from historic park reports, literature,
or other sources that have not yet been entered in the Biodiversity Database.
Also note: where the family name ends with '_family', it means that the family
name has not yet been agreed upon by taxonomists for this group,
or that it was not identified to this level.
In Case You Didn't Know ...
Mayflies are delicate insects that spend most of their lives as nymphs (larvae) living under water.
Much of the mayfly's popularity comes from the fact that it is a food source for trout.
Most nymphal mayflies are herbivores feeding on algae and diatoms, or are detritivores feeding on detritus. Most immature stage mayfly species like well-aerated, pollution-free waters.
The adult stage only appears for a few days for mating, and then because they do not feed, will quickly die. Mayflies are unique members of the insect class in that they are the only ones with a winged pre-adult stage. If you see this insect as an adult, you will notice that it usually will have an upturned abdomen and wings held straight up when standing. Usually the adult also has 3 hair-like appendages extending from its posterior.