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Burrowing mayfly (Ichthybotus)

Taxonomic group

Ephemeridae: Ichthybotus

Diagnostic features

Ichthybotus mayfly nymphs have delicate slender bodies, feather-like gills, fringed caudal filaments (“tails”) and tusk-like mandibles extending in front of the head.

Typical habitats

Ichthybotus larvae burrow into the gravelly beds of streams with cool and well aerated water.


They are thought to be “collector-gatherers”, feeding on organic matter trapped in the streambed.

Indicator value

  • Hard bottom: 8
  • Soft bottom: 9.2

The tolerance values (ranging from 0 to 10) give an indication of which are the sensitive taxa (values of 8 or more) and which are the tolerant taxa (values of 3 or less). For more information see: Indicator species

The presence of Ichthybotus suggests good habitat and water quality conditions, especially if other mayfly or stonefly groups are abundant. Ichthybotus has tolerance values of 8 (hard bottom sites) and 9.2 (soft bottom sites).