Mystery river fly

Insect on gate
I found this beautiful creature sheltering from the rain under one of the curlicues of our wrought-iron gate. It is some sort of river fly but I haven’t conclusively identified it more specifically. Any river fly experts out there? It has two long tails, unlike the common mayfly which has three, and apparently only one pair of wings. I found it nowhere near a river so I an guessing it is one of the river flies that will inhabit standing water. Anyway, whatever it is, it’s a beauty! Here’s a close-up:
close-up of insect in gate

11 thoughts on “Mystery river fly

  1. My Collins Field Guide to Insects tells me that some mayflies have two tail streamers. They also have very short antennae and hold their wings vertically over their backs at rest. Also hind wings can be missing (therefore two wings only). On that basis I’d say definitely a mayfly. Looking at the illustrations (in particular the sparse wing veins) I’d say something from Baetidae family (4 genera and 15 species in UK).

    Now if that spiel gives you the impression that I have any idea what I am talking about, don’t be fooled. I know nothing; I just read my book. 🙂

  2. I have just borrowed a book from the library with photographs and comments by Jacques Dassié
    he is better known for his aerial photographs and archaeological discoveries but his local insect pictures are wonderful. They were taken in his garden in Gemozac, where the library is. He has taken a picture of what seems the same insect which he calls l’éphémère or mayfly. He gives the order Ephemeroptera, Familly, Baetidae, Cleon species, 6-8 mm.

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