20150318

Mayfly nymph

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)
The next few images were made using the microscope, as I was interested in getting a closer look. Not surprisingly, the results are awesome.
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. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayfly
http://freshwaterblog.net/2011/05/16/the-mayflys-lifecycle-a-fascinating-fleeting-story/

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