The Taxonomy of Mayflies and Aquatic Invertebrates

Research Updates

March 2011

Taxonomy workshop was held in February with over 40 attendees. Keys to Dipteran Families (Draft) (by Chris Madden), Brine Shrimp (by Brian Timms), preliminary key to the stonefly genus Riekoperla (Julia Mynott) and a revised key to the genera of Australian leptophlebiid mayflies (by John Dean) were presented and a workshop on wierd dipterans was useful.

Webb, J. M., & Suter, P. J. (2010). New combinations for the Australian species of Baetis (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae) with a new synonym. Zootaxa, 2668, 63-65. The pdf is available from Zootaxa. This paper effectively removes the genus Baetis from the Australian fauna.
Julia and Michael had a successful collecting trip to the Barrington Tops in February and are now going through their material.

The key to the Australian baetid nymphs is near completion and should be available on the Museum of Victoria website Museum Victoria Science Reports

May 31, 2010
  • J Webb and Michael Shackleton returned from a successful collecting trip to northern Queensland. Many specimens were collected, including undescribed larvae for species in Caenota (Calocidae).
  • The Bungona revision paper is now published in Zootaxa. The pdf is available here.
March 18, 2010
  • Dichotomous keys for the genera of larvae of Australian Chironomidae (Diptera) and selected Australian aquatic oligochaetes (Clitellata: Annelida) from the 2009 Taxonomic Workshop are now available as publications on the Museum Victoria Science Reports website.
  • The paper "Revalidation and redescription of Bungona illiesi (Lugo-Ortiz & McCafferty) (Ephemeroptera:Baetidae) based on mitochondrial and morphological evidence" by J. Webb and P. Suter has been accepted for publication in Zootaxa and should be available soon.
  • The dichotomous key for the larvae of the Australian Baetidae is in press with the Museum of Victoria Science Reports and should be available soon.
  • Recent mtDNA results show that the Cloeon Q3 larvae from northern Queensland are equivalent to Cloeon NT2 from the Northern Territory. When the Baetidae key is published with the MOV, a supplementary file will be made available here.
  • The newest version of the LUCID key for Australian Baetidae is now available in the taxonomic workshop section
February 12, 2010
  • A two day taxonomic workshop was held February 9-10 in Albury/Wodonga with over 40 participants. Topics included:
    1. Dichotomous and LUCID keys for larvae of 57 species of Australian Baetidae (Jeff Webb & Phil Suter) [to be published as a Museum of Victoria Science Report]
    2. Dichotomous and LUCID keys for the genera of adult mayflies (Phil Suter & Jeff Webb)
    3. Ecology of Hydraenidae (Coleoptera) (Nick Porch)
  • A paper revising the Australian genus Bungona Harker has been submitted to Zootaxa

  • The key to the genera of larvae of Australian Chironomidae (Diptera) from the 2009 TRIN taxonomic workshop is now available on the Museum Victoria Science Reports website.
  • A new PhD student has started with Phil and Jeff, working on the systematics of the caddisfly family Calocidae.
September 7, 2009
  • "Centroptilum" adult key updated. Pictures will be updated soon.
  • Key for larval "Centroptilum" added! Pictures coming soon.
August 24, 2009
May 22, 2009
  • morphological differences have finally been found between larvae of two species of Edmundsiops/Offadens that we thought were cryptic. We've recently also found adults for both of these species and there are differences in colour patterns in both the males and females, and in wing venation of the females.
  • DNA extractions have now been done on almost all species of Jappa (Leptophlebiidae) and the first COI sequences should arrive soon. We are working on EF1a and CAD amplifications for assessing relationships.
April, 2009
  • The baetid genus Edmundsiops has found to be paraphyletic as it includes Offadens (see the phylogeny page). As a result, either Offadens and Edmundsiops will have to be synonymised, or an additional genus will have to be established. Three genera do not currently 'make sense' morphologically, but we are trying some additional loci and incorporating morphological characters into the analyses to clarify the situation.
  • COI sequences have arrived for the last two remining species in Edmundsiops (E. sp15 and E. G4sp1) as well as several additional species of Offadens, Centroptilum, and Cloeon. We now have COI sequences for nearly all species of Australian baetids. The only species for which we lack fresh material for DNA extraction are Offadens WAsp2, some of the far northern Pseudocloeon, one Centroptilum, and some of the Cloeon.
  • COI sequences show three species of Ameletoides (Nesameletidae) present on the mainland of Australia with one species confined to each of the three high alpine areas of Mts. Kosciuzsko, Bogong, and Buller. Fresh material of specimens from Tasmania has been obtained and is expected to represent an additional species.
  • Morphospecies have been delimited for larvae of Centroptilum and fresh material has been obtained for nearly all species. Through molecular associations and rearing, several of the adults have been associated. A (very) preliminary key has been constructed for the larvae.



  • Taxonomic keys for aquatic macroinvertebrates developed by the TRIN AMI group and presenters at the TRIN AMI taxonomic workshops.

Specimen Wish List


Q. What did God say to the mayfly?
A. "Have a nice day!"

Publisher: "We can't publish your book 'The Life of the Mayfly' - it is only a page long!"

With one day to to live, mayflies throw the wildest parties in the insect class.

Doctor: "The good news it is only a 24 hour bug. The bad news is you are a mayfly."

Q. What comes after a mayfly?
A. A June bug.

Mayfly: "sure I've got a life - a whole day!"


Mayflies Web Utilities

I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Key_to_the_adults.docdoc Key_to_the_adults.doc manage 4 MB 2010-02-21 - 19:23 JeffWebb  
Rocky_2.jpgjpg Rocky_2.jpg manage 65 K 2010-02-21 - 19:23 MargaretC Zits mayflies
igp_104_300_Rocky_2.jpgjpg igp_104_300_Rocky_2.jpg manage 9 K 2010-04-29 - 15:07 UnknownUser  
mayflycomic.docdoc mayflycomic.doc manage 1 MB 2010-02-21 - 19:23 PhilSuter