Mayfly (Ephemera danica)
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Contact: Oliver Niehuis
Size (or size of nearest relative): 900 MBp
Keywords (and why important): Novel energy pathway, (ecosystem function)
Representative of Ephemeroptera: the mayfly Ephemera danica occurs in Central Europe in creeks and rivers with a high water quality. Its larvae feed on detritus. Its adults do not ingest any more and only live 2-4 days. During this time, the adult mayflies have to find a mating partner, mate, and deposit eggs.
Ephemeroptera are considered as one of the earliest lineages of flying insects. As such, mayflies play an important role for understanding the evolutionary roots of flight, one of the most important and dramatic steps in the evolutionary history of insects. Despite their highly interesting systematic position, genomic data of mayflies are scarce. The i5K initiative therefore decided to sequence the genome of a mayfly.