Ecological Research

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 185–192 | Cite as

Water intake by the adult mayfly Epeorus ikanosis (Ephemeroptera: Heptageniidae) and its effect on their longevity

  • Yasuhiro Takemon


Water drinking habits during flight in adult mayflies of Epeorus ikanonis Takahashi were observed and the effect of water intake on their longevity was examined. The study was carried out in a mountain stream in western Japan. Adult males collected a water droplet under the head capsule while alighting on the water surface and consumed it after moving to nearby riparian vegetation. The amount of water intake was experimentally estimated to be 9.7% of the bodyweight for males. Although females did not show the water drinking behavior in the field, they imbibed as much as 5.5% of the bodyweight of water in an experimental situation. Morphological observation of the mouthparts revealed that the water was drawn in through the pits at the base of the labrum. In the field caging experiment, males with a water supply had a substantially longer life span than those without. Increase in adult life span by drinking water was less marked in females. Multiple copulation was observed in both sexes during the experiment. The water drinking behavior of the males may closely relate to mating success through increased longevity. Variation in the longevity of adult mayflies was discussed with regard to the possibility of water intake.

Key words

adult longevity mayfly mouthparts multiple copulation water intake 


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Copyright information

© Ecological Society of Japan 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasuhiro Takemon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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