Life history, developmental processes, and energetics of the burrowing mayfly Dolania americana

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Harvey R.S., Vannote R.L., Sweeney B.W. 1980. Pages 211–230 in J.F. Flannagan and K.E. Marshall (editors). Advances in Ephemeroptera biology. Springer, Boston, Massachusetts.

doi: 10.1007/978-1-4613-3066-0_18


Dolania americana has a two year life history in Upper Three Runs Creek at Savannah River Plant near Aiken, SC. Eggs deposited in early June hatch the following spring; larvae require 12–14 months to mature. Adult metamorphosis is synchronous, with > 95% of individuals emerging during the first week. Females produce an average of 77 eggs per individual; adult size and fecundity are correlated positively. Adult size of both males and females appears to decrease during the emergence period. Caloric measurements on various tissues and developmental stages ranged from 4.63 to 6.55 cal/mg. Eggs had the highest caloric content (avg 6.18 cal/mg); subimaginal molt skins had the lowest (4.63 cal/mg). Caloric content per unit weight of larval tissue increased with larval size. Chemical analysis of eggs revealed a high protein content (50.3%) relative to lipid (25.5) and carbohydrate (9.0) fractions. Weight specific respiration rates for larvae were inversely related to larval size, but correlated positively with water temperature between 6 and 23°C. Larval growth appeared continuous, although seasonal differences in the amount of growth were observed. Net production efficiency for larvae ranged from 5.3 to 29.2% and varied seasonally, averaging 8.1, 16.6,21.7 and 19.4% for winter, spring, summer and fall, respectively.