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Orange mayfly (Acanthophlebia)

Taxonomic group

Leptophlebiidae: Acanthophlebia

Diagnostic features

Acanthophlebia mayfly nymphs have a flattened body form, large double leaf-like gills, large abdominal spines and a general orange-brown colour.

Typical habitats

Acanthophlebia larvae are most abundant in bush-covered, stony-bottom streams with cool and well aerated water.


Leptophlebiid mayflies feed by scraping diatom algae and other organic matter from stone surfaces.

Indicator value

  • Hard bottom: 7
  • Soft bottom: 9.6

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

High abundances of Acanthophlebia suggest good habitat and water quality conditions, especially if other mayfly or stonefly groups are abundant. Acanthophlebia has tolerance values of 7 (hard bottom sites) and 9.6 (soft bottom sites).