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Mayfly? - Hexagenia atrocaudata

Mayfly? - Hexagenia atrocaudata
Threelakes , Oneida County, Wisconsin, USA
July 6, 2013
Size: Inch or more
Want to know why they hold their arms up like seen in the picture.

Moved from Mayflies.

Hexagenia atrocaudata
Hi Chelsea-

I believe this male imago to be Hexagenia atrocaudata. Actually, rather than being arms, those are its forelegs, but as to why genus Hexagenia are often observed with them extended in this manner, I have never heard an explanation.

Mayflies have evolved to have to a physical form and behaviors which favor the likelihood of their survival, and in that the male imago's forelegs are used to hold the female imago in place during their airborne mating ritual, I suppose it could have something to do with that. However, this "theory" is based on pure speculation on my part, and may be way off base. :-)

Moved from ID Request.

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