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Green Drake Mayfly (Ephemera dancia)



The green drake (or common) mayfly only eats when it is an aquatic larvae, when its diet consists of mainly organic debris. The adults hatch I the summer, this happens simultaneously in some cases with hundreds hatching at any one time. The females can lay up to 8,000 eggs and can do this within a day of leaving the river. Being able to reproduce this quickly is essential for the mayfly as their life as an adult is very short (a matter of hours in some cases!). They tend not to feed as adults as their sole purpose is to reproduce and die once they have mated. Adult mayfly’s have broad, clear wings that are extremely delicate with a lace-like appearance, short antennae and up to 3 fine tail bristles. Mayfly larvae also have three ‘tails’. The Common Mayfly has a creamy-green abdomen with distinctive brown markings towards the rear end, three long, black tails, and translucent, spotted wings. Green drake mayfly are found around freshwater wetlands, including fast flowing rivers to still lakes.

Species Information

Length: 5cm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December