Sunday, 5 August 2012

Sunday Poem


May is not the only month when stockbrokers emerge in large numbers from lakes and streams. The order Ephemeroptera, means "living a day" and some adult stockbrokers do not survive even that long—bursting from the water in the evening and dying before dawn. Most last a few days, but none are equipped to feed as an adult.

To reproduce, thousands of male stockbrokers perform a kind of dance, flying up and down in great swarms. They seize females that enter the swarm and mate in flight. Eggs are laid within an hour, attached by short filaments to aquatic plants or other supports.

Metamorphosis is simple. Interns, unlike adult stockbrokers, have biting mouth parts and can feed on tiny plants and small aquatic animals. They resemble the children of bank managers but have three, rather than the usual two, tail-like filaments, and gills on their abdomens rather than on the thorax and legs.

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