A quiz with mayflies

A tray of pond olive larvae

A tray of pond olive larvae

This tray is full of pond olive mayfly larvae from my pond. Almost every blob is an animal (click the picture for a closer view). It’s the result of three or four sweeps of the sieve in the grasses at the edge of the pond.

The quiz is – how many are there!

Pond Olive mayfly larva

Pond Olive mayfly larva

Answer in a week or so (which is about how long its going to take me to count them!).

The pond olive is one of the most widespread of pond animals – you can see it in about two thirds of all ponds. The adult mayflies have flown to the pond – I don’t know how far they’ve flown or where they came from but I definitely didn’t add them (or anything else). They have been abundant from the early days – they colonised 2 months after the pond filled.

Most people think mayflies only live for a day – buit the larvae are under water for months before the adult emerges.

Although almost everything in the tray is a pond olive, sharp-eyed entomologists may notice two larvae of another type of insect.

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3 Responses to “A quiz with mayflies”

  1. Ruth Says:

    I recon there are 123 pond olive mayflies. Am I right? What is the prize?

  2. My new pond Day 9: Mayflies « The Garden Pond Blog Says:

    […] The first pond has probably thousands of larvae of this animal – click here to see a tray full I photographed last year. […]

  3. Alisdair Macleod Says:

    I am guessing the two extra are damselfly larvae (two different kinds) and diving beetle larvae

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