Tasmanian Mayflies

Identification, Ecology, Behaviour and Imitation

September 2023
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    19th September 2023
  • ISBN 9781486316113
  • Language English
  • Pages 228 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 394 color photos, 24 illus, & 21 maps

Mayflies are one of the world’s most diverse, abundant and important aquatic insects. Famous for their brief adult life spans, mayflies play a key role in the ecology of aquatic and associated terrestrial ecosystems, and are critical bioindicators of ecosystem health.

Sitting at the southern limit of Australia’s temperate zone, Tasmania is home to a diverse array of mayflies and renowned fisheries based on them. The state’s storied "Lambda Dun" hatches bring fishers from all over Australia to try their luck each summer on its rivers and ponds. Yet little is known about their behavior and ecology, and more than half of the mayflies in Tasmania have never been described.

This extensively illustrated book is the first synthesis of the biology of south-east Australia’s mayflies, with a focus on those in Tasmania. It combines information gleaned from scientific literature as well as more than 30 years of the author’s studies and flyfishing experiences. It explores the biology, identification, conservation, ecology and behavior of mayflies, and also includes fishing strategies and fly patterns.

Tasmanian Mayflies is an essential information source for Australia’s aquatic biologists and for flyfishers, novice and experienced alike, who chase the insects and the fish that feed on them.


  • Comprehensive coverage of Tasmania’s diverse mayflies, with information on related species on the south-eastern mainland.
  • Detailed information on life history, behavior and ecology based on over 30 years of studying mayflies.
  • Includes diagnostic features for all major groups and species.
  • Extensively illustrated with color photographs.
  • Provides details on hatches, fly patterns and fishing strategies for flyfishers.

1. Why mayflies?
2. The biology of mayflies
3. Identifying mayflies
4. Keys to the mayfly families of south-east Australia
5. Primitive Minnow Mayflies - Oniscigastridae
6. Primitive Minnow Mayflies - Nesameletidae
7. Small Minnow Mayflies - Baetidae
8. Prong-gilled Mayflies - Leptophlebiidae
9. Small Squaregills - Caenidae
10. The status of mayflies in Tasmania
11. Mayfly hatches - where, when and what
12. Fly patterns that have worked for me
Further reading

Ron Thresher

Ron Thresher has worked for over 30 years on the behavioral ecology of aquatic animals. He has published more than 100 scientific papers, plus books and patents, and occasionally catches a trout.

aquatic ecology, lambda dun, taxonomy, entomology, flyfishing