Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saw my first fishfly of the year today...

...and you know where I saw it? Down my shirt, chillin' in my bra. Nice. It was during our bike ride that it decided to fly into my shirt. Awesome.

For those not familiar with a fishfly (or mayfly which I think is the proper term for it), this is what it looks like.

These little buggers usually show up around this time, last for about 2-3 weeks and then disappear until next year. They are totally harmless but pretty disgusting. In some cities, party stores have to turn off all their outside lights as to not attract to many at night, but in the morning you'll still see them out there with hoses/shovels/brooms try to get rid of the aftermath. Oh and at a stop light later on in the night, you pretty much slide to a stop because of all the dead fishflies on the ground.

Here's a good description...they're pretty much useless.

Life Cycle: Adult mayflies are very short lived, surviving only one or two nights. During that time the adults mate in swarms in the air. They are also attracted to lights. Eggs are deposited while flying low over the water, or by dipping the abdomen on the water surface or some even submerge themselves and lay eggs underwater. Adult females lay eggs into water and often die on the water surface. Immature stages develop through several stages instars by molting during development. The number of molts varies depending on the species, temperature and water conditions. Immature stages then swim to the water surface or crawl onto rocks or plants. There, they molt into subimagoes with wings in seconds or minutes, which fly quickly from the water to nearby plants where they molt again into adults (imagoes). Mayflies are the only group of insects that molt after they have wings. In all other orders winged forms are as only found on adult forms, the last stage of development. A typical life cycle will last one year.

Pest Status:
Common aquatic insects that generally go unnoticed; occasionally, large numbers of adults (and subimagoes) emerge during certain times of year in synchrony and are sometimes abundant enough to be a nuisance; most problem situations occur when they are attracted to electric lights at night. They are medically harmless. Immature mayflies are an important food source for fish. Many lures and artificial flies are patterned after them.

They are definitely a nuisance in some areas around here!


Andrea said...

yep saw my first one this past wednesday,chillin outside the door at work.

Kayla said...

I'm so glad you call them fish fly's too! My husband and everyone in his family thinks I'm crazy that I don't call them Mayflies! :-) Happy Summer!!

Rachel L said...

ah yes, the Fish Fly...the one thing that sucks about living by the lake- that and the fact that my hair looks like an afro most of the summer, but yeah...