VCSU Macro-Invertabrate Lab
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Order Ephemeroptera - The Pale Burrowers
Distinguishing characteristics - Larvae of the pale burrowers are very similar in appearance to the common burrowers (Family Ephemeridae). The pale burrowers tend to curve dorsally over the abdomen (Fig. A). Similar to the common borrower, gills on abdominal segments 2-7are forked and elongate lanceolate with fringed margins (Fig. B and C). The main distinguishing characteristic is the mandibular tusks have spines on the top surface and are not curved upward (Fig. D). In addition, the ventral apex of the hind tibia is rounded (Fig. E), not an acute point as in the common burrowers.

Genus Ephoron: The only genus of Polymitarcyidae found in North Dakota is Ephoron. The nymph digs a tubular burrow through which it moves water using its gills. Ephoron then traps particles to eat from the currents. It generally doesn't leave its burrow during the daytime.

Genus - Ephoron

Tolerance Value - 2

Feeding Group - Collectors

Notes - There are 6 species of Polymitarcyidae in North America. They are collector-gatherers which live in the silt of rivers, lakes, and streams. Females of some species do not molt into adults, and are sexually mature as subimagos. The size of the Pale Burrowers larvae at their largest instar is 12-35 mm excluding tails.

Penny Picture

Range Map

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