Australian Aquatic Ephemeroptera Larvae

An order of palaeopterous insects. Nymphs of all species are aquatic, and occur in relatively unpolluted, standing and running freshwaters. The adults are short-lived ( a few minutes to several days), take no food, and do not move far from water. Adults are unique amongst living insects in undergoing a final moult (subimago to imago) after the wings become functional. The name Ephemeroptera refers to the short lifespan of the adult.

There are 23 recognised families in the order but only 9 families (84 described species) occur in Australia. This key covers only nymphs and only the Australian taxa.

Identification of later-instar nymphs to family level should be relatively straightforward based on external morphological characters. Younger instars cannot always be allocated reliably to family.

Key Author(s): CSIRO Entomology Key Version: 1.1