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Serratella ignita (Blue-winged olive)

Serratella ignita is one of the most common Ephemeroptera species in the British Isles.  Nymphs of this species live in fast flowing streams and rivers, especially where aquatic vegetation is present.  Occasionally it has been found on the stony shores of upland lakes.  They are usually found clinging to, or crawling amongst submerged plants and stones, although they may swim in short bursts if disturbed.  The nymphs feed by collecting or gathering fine particulate organic detritus from the sediment. 

 

There is one generation a year, which usually overwinters in the egg stage and emerges between April and September.  There may be separate winter and summer generations in warmer water, such as those of southern England, and this would result in a longer flight period.

 


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Emergence of the adults takes place at the surface of the water during daylight hours and at dusk.  The males of this species can be found swarming throughout the day, and swarming continues until dusk.

 

The mated female produces an egg mass which she holds under her tail.  The eggs are usually laid in areas of fast flowing and turbulent water, where moss is present.  The female flies over the water and releases the egg mass.