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Coffinfly (Ephemera guttulata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Coffinfly.


 Updated: 2/15/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



Basic Information
Common Name: Coffinfly
Other Name(s): Shad Fly, Green Drake
Scientific Name: Ephemera guttulata
Category: Mayfly


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 23mm (0.70in to 0.90in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: white, black, gray
Additional Identifiers: tail, flying, water


The sensitive Coffinfly's presence indicates the health of the nearby water source so if you see them, the water must be clean.





At first glance, the Coffinfly appears physically similar to its Mayfly relatives. A long abdomen is tipped with long tail filaments, but the Coffinfly has three "tails" while other species have only two. Coffinflies are further set apart from mayflies by their dark-colored and patterned wings. Like dragonflies, Coffinflies live near slow-moving or still water sources like ponds, creeks, small rivers and shallow lakes. Adults can be found by the hundreds of thousands from the spring to summer if the water source is clean and unpolluted. Coffinflies originally got their name because some species were once found in exhumed coffins.

The Coffinfly undergoes a series of molts (phase changes) as it matures to its adult form. Early larvae look like small versions of lobsters, or crayfish, and they live this early life stage completely under water. They burrow into the sediment or sand at the bottom of the pond or lake, and feed on algae and plant matter. Because they are still developing while living in water, larvae can be indicators of a water system's cleanliness. Even moderate levels of pollution have been known to destroy a local population of larvae.

One intermediate life phase, called the subimago, includes the formation of wings and tiny hairs that start to prevent them from submerging under water. Anglers call this phase a "dun" and may use it - or plastic replications of it - as bait to catch certain species of fish that naturally feed on duns. After another molt, it becomes a more mature adult called an imago, which is also known as a "spinner" to anglers. Fully-developed adults are land-bound and do not feed. Their life span at this stage is very short, leaving only enough time to reproduce before dying. Adults are attracted to lights and may end up clustering on them just before dying, leaving people to find hundreds of dead ones on the ground.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Ephemeroptera
Family: Ephemeridae
Genus: Ephemera
Species: guttulata




Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Coffinfly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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