Today I went for a short walk through the Konavle field, a beautiful place some 20 km south from Dubrovnik. There are a few ponds just a couple hundred meters from my house, so I figured I might as well get some water samples to check under the microscope when I get home. Turns out, I didn't even need the microscope - I got a few beautiful mayfly nymphs right away. The first two images were done without the microscope, as the nymph is about 3 mm in length, quite big enough for some macro photography.
|Mayfly nymph (click for larger image)|
|Caudal filaments (tails)|
|Antennae under the microscope|
|Caudal filaments under the microscope|
|Mayfly nymph leg under the microscope, with tarsus and claw in focus|
Mayflies are quite interesting insects, with immature stage which lives for about a year, and adult stage which lives from a few minutes up to a few days. Even the name of the order Ephemeroptera, to which they belong, notes their brief lifespan (Ephemeroptera comes from the Greek εφήμερος, ephemeros = "short-lived" or literally "lasting a day", "daily" or "day-long", and πτερόν, pteron = "wing"). That's a sad way to be remembered, I think, but that's how the Nature works, eh? I absolutely recommend you read more about these amazing creatures on the links below. :)