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Cloeon dipterum (Pond olive)

Cloeon dipterum is a common and widespread species that is found throughout the British Isles.  It is thought that this species is the more common of the British Cloeon spp.  Nymphs of this species live in pools and margins of rivers and streams or in eutrophic ponds or shallow water in larger lakes.  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 two or more generations a year, one of which overwinters as nymphs and emerges in the spring.  Adults are generally seen between May and October, but in warm weather they may also be found in other months.

 


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Emergence of the adults typically takes place at the surface during daylight hours and at dusk, with the males of this species swarming in the afternoon or at dusk

 

Unusually for Ephemeroptera, the female of this species rests for up to 14 days after mating.  She then lays around 1200 eggs directly on the water surface where they hatch and the young nymphs swim away.