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Keywords:

  • Bormida river;
  • feeding habits;
  • life cycle;
  • mayflies;
  • Southern Europe

Abstract

Life cycle, feeding habits and nymphal density of a population of Ephoron virgo from the Bormida river (Northwestern Italy) were studied. Nymphs were present in the river from the beginning of May until August, with the highest density of nymphs recorded at the end of May–beginning of June. The life cycle was univoltine and the nymphal growth was fast. During the life cycle, an obligatory egg diapause occurs and individuals remain in this stage for up to nine months. Nymphs fed mainly on detritus, although mineral matter constituted a considerable percentage of the gut contents, predominantly in smaller nymphs.