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Centroptilum luteolum (Small spurwing)

Centroptilum luteolum is a widespread and common species, found throughout the British Isles.  It has a more localised distribution in Scotland, where it is more often encountered in standing waters rather than running waters.  Nymphs of this species live in pools and margins of rivers and streams or on the wave lashed shores of larger stillwaters.  The nymphs swim in short, darting bursts amongst the substrate, or climb amongst the vegetation.  They feed by scraping algae from submerged stones and other structures, or by gathering or collecting fine particulate organic detritus from the sediment.

 

There are usually two generations a year, one of which overwinters as nymphs and emerges in the spring, and a fast growing summer generation that emerges during the summer.  This results in a fairly long flight period with adults present between April and November.

 


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Emergence of the adults typically takes place at the surface during daylight hours, with the males swarming just above the surface of the water throughout the day and also at dusk.  Once mated, the female flies descends to the surface of the water where she releases around 2500 eggs in a single batch by dipping the tip of her abdomen onto the water surface.  After releasing her eggs the spent female falls on to the surface.