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 Major Groups | Insecta (insects) | Ephemeroptera (mayflies) | Ameletopsidae


Major Group: Insecta
Order: Ephemeroptera
Family: Ameletopsidae
Genus: Mirawarra
This family is represented in Australia by a single genus, Mirawarra.

Descriptive Features:

  • head prognathous or hypognathous, broad in frontal view with upper surface convex
  • eyes flattened
  • antennal length a little greater than width of head capsule
  • mouthparts modified for predation, maxilla with 4 apical spines, long, curved, heavily sclerotized and needle-like
  • legs of moderate length, tarsi 4-segmented, tarsal claws smooth
  • abdomen oval in cross section
  • gills present on abdominal segments 1-7, upper lamella plate-like with extensively branched tracheae, and lower lamella fibriliform,
  • gills with outer margin sclerotized, a series of small spines in apical half, strut sclerotized to about middle 
  • inner margins of caudal filaments bearing dense fringes of setae
  • Total length: up to 30 mm

    Mirawara megaloprepria

    Taxonomic Checklist: Species
    Mirawara aapta Harker 
    Mirawara megaloprepria Riek
    Mirawara purpurea Riek

    Distribution: N Qld, SE Qld, NSW, Vic

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 7

    Functional Feeding Group: predators


    Watchbed Creek, Falls Creek area Vic

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Mirawara nymphs occur in fast flowing cobbled streams.
    Feeding ecology: Nymphs are predators feeding on smaller invertebrates such as other mayflies and chironomids. It is the only predatory mayfly in Australia.
    Habit: Mirawara nymphs burrow into the substrata during the day returning to the surface at night to feed.
    Life history: Females lay small clusters of eggs on the surface of riverine pools. An individual female can lay 8000 eggs. Typically the nymphal stage of the lifecycle runs from April to October. Mature nymphs undergo the final moult on the stream bed and then the subimago swims to surface to complete emergence.


    Information Sources: Dean & Suter 1996, Suter & Webb 2012a, Campbell 1999, Peters & Campbell 1991, Campbell 1988, Gooderham & Tsyrlin 2002
    Key to Species: Suter & Webb 2012a (morphospecies)
    Key Note: Specimens without wing pads are early instars and cannot be confidently identified at species level.