10. Ephemeral life

The tenth chapter of the “Inhabitants of the microworld” series is called “Ephemeral life”.

Mayflies, also called shadflies or fishflies, are insects of the order Ephemeroptera, one of the most ancient orders of insects known. Their name Ephemeroptera is due to the short life as adult. Adult of many species live only a few hours after the final moulting. In contrast with their short life as adult, their aquatic development can last a long time, even several years, and during this period, nymphs carry out several moults as they are growing. At the end of their nymphal development they emerge to the water surface, break the nymphal cuticle and became a subadult insect (called subimago). This subimago will later moult again to become into adult or imago. This is the only known example of an insect carrying out a moult in its winged phase.

This is the tenth chapter of a series that will bring to us a video per day during this confinement forced by COVID-19.

We hope that you enjoy this initiative, which gives access to a documentary series for free to the world, and you share it with everyone you think will possibly be interested.

Science into Images’s team.

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