Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


Genus Hexagenia

Mayfly - Hexagenia hexagenia? - Hexagenia - male mayfly - Hexagenia Common Burrower Mayfly - Hexagenia - male Pale large mayfly - Hexagenia Unknown mayfly - Hexagenia Mayfly - Hexagenia bilineata Mayfly ID Request - Hexagenia bilineata
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Ephemeroptera (Mayflies)
Suborder Furcatergalia
Infraorder Scapphodonta
Superfamily Ephemeroidea
Family Ephemeridae (Common Burrower Mayflies)
Genus Hexagenia
Other Common Names
Burrowing Mayfly, Giant Mayfly, Golden Mayfly
Explanation of Names
Hexagenia Walsh 1863
5 spp. in our area(1), 8 spp. total(2)
14-30 mm
Large; subimago pale golden yellow. Several species dark with bold striped pattern as mature imagos. Wings not uniformly dark, as are some other genera of this family. Pale brown band across abdomen. Antennae, legs, and tails yellow. (Photographs show either pale golden mayflies--probably subimagos, or very dark individuals, full imagoes?) H. limbata is very large (18-30 mm), widespread in east. H. bilineata is smaller, 14-18 mm, and is common in southeast.
New World(2); in our area, all spp. occur in the east, H. limbata throughout NA, H. bilineata ranges to sw. US(1)
streams, lakes
Life Cycle
Eggs are dropped onto water surface, sink to bottom. Larvae (naiads) burrow in muddy bottoms of streams, lakes at up to 20 meters (60 feet) in depth. They usually spend one year in this stage, perhaps two in northern areas. Adults emerge in evening, disperse widely, coming to lights--often far from bodies of water.