pond olive

(Cloeon dipterum)

Conservation Status
pond olive
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Pond olive is a small minnow mayfly. It occurs throughout Europe, where it is native, and in Asia and North America, where it has been introduced. The earliest North American record is from Illinois in 1953. It is now widespread across the continent. In the United States it is currently mostly restricted to the northeast and to Washington state. It is rare in Minnesota. Nymphs are found mostly in ponds, but also in the shallow margins of lakes and in slow areas of rivers and streams. They feed on algae, small aquatic organisms, and organic debris. Adults are found on vegetation near ponds. They do not feed and seldom live more than 1 or 2 days.

Adults are reddish-brown, 316 to ¼ (5 to 7 mm) long, and have a wingspan of ½ to 1 (13 to 25 mm). The body is elongated, slender, and very soft. The abdomen has 2 very long hair-like sensory appendages (cerci).

The antennae are short, bristle-like, and inconspicuous. The mouth parts are small, poorly developed, and non-functional. The compound eyes on the female are on the sides of the head. On the male the compound eyes have additional large, orange, turban-like parts that meet at the top of the head. These adaptations are said to allow the male to isolate in a swarm females that are not yet paired with another male.

The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has 3 or 4 segments.

The forewings are clear, triangular, very large, and have many veins. They are held together above the body when at rest. There are five cross veins at the tip of each wing. The second terminal branch (M2) of the front (anterior) branch of the first fork of the media vein is nearly straight. Longitudinal veins in the outer part of the wing between the two branches of the cubitus vein (Cu1 and Cu2) are not in 2 parallel pairs. Some authors say that pond olives have no hindwings. Carl Linnaeus in 1761 described the hindwings as “hardly present.”

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 316 to ¼ (5 to 7 mm)

Wingspan: ½ to 1 (13 to 25 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Ponds, lake margins, rivers, and streams

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

May to September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

After mating the female retains 10 to 14 eggs in her abdomen until they are fully developed (ovovivipary). She lays them in water where they hatch almost immediately. Pond olive is the only ovoviviparous mayfly in Europe. Nymphs overwinter in frozen over ponds which have little dissolved oxygen. They live in the water from 6 months to 3 years, undergoing up to 21 molts. Eventually, they swim to the water surface or crawl onto emergent vegetation or rocks to complete the second-to-last molt. This subadult stage has functional wings and is called a subimago. They fly to nearby vegetation and molt one last time, emerging as adults.

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

Small algae, aquatic organisms, and organic debris

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Adults do not feed

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 82.

 
  11/6/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Rare in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Ephemeroptera (mayflies)  
 

Suborder

Pisciforma  
 

Family

Baetidae (small minnow mayflies)  
 

Genus

Cloeon  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Cloeon cognatum

Chloeon dipterum

Cloe diptera

Cloeon inscriptum

Cloeon pallida

Cloeopsis diptera

Ephemera diptera

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

pond olive

pond small minnow mayfly

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Cercus

One of a pair of small sensory appendages at the end of the abdomen of many insects and other arthropods. In Odonata, one of the upper pair of claspers. Plural: cerci.

 

Tarsus

On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    pond olive   pond olive  
           
 
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Other Videos
 
  Cloeon dipterum
Michel-Marie Solito de Solis
 
   
 
About

May 5, 2015

Larvae and Imago
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  Gewone tweevleugel Cloeon dipterum, mannetje imago
Roy Kleukers
 
   
 
About

Jun 7, 2016

3-6-2016, Egmond-Binnen (Nederland). Gewone tweevleugel Cloeon dipterum, mannetje imago. Identification Daan Drukker.

Insecta (Insecten, insects, Insekten, insectes), Ephemeroptera (haften, eendagsvliegen, mayflies, Eintagsfliegen, éphémères, éphéméroptères)

 
  Group 12: Mayflies - Olives (Cloeon dipterum) nymph
Freshwater Invertebrates
 
   
 
About

Apr 4, 2020

Cloeon dipterum nymph (Mayfly - Olive), Pond, Handforth Dean, Cheshire, United Kingdom, 27 March 2020.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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  Alfredo Colon
8/10/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

pond olive  
           
 
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Created: 11/6/2020

Last Updated:

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