Caenis (genus)

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Caenis horaria
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Ephemeroptera
Suborder: Pannota
Superfamily: Ephemerelloidea
Family: Caenidae
Genus: Caenis
Stephens, 1835

Caenis is a genus of mayflies. They are very small in size, sometimes with a body of only an 1/8 of an inch (3.2 mm).

Distribution and ecology[edit]

Caenis is one of the most abundant mayfly genera of the Holarctic. Larvae can occur in high densities on the bottoms of shallow ponds and lakes up to an altitude of 1800 meters in the [Alps].[1]

Densities of 700-1700 larvae per square meter have been reported for C. luctuosa and C. horaria on bottoms covered with organic detritus or decaying leaves. Densities on mineral sediments are an order of magnitude lower (4-330 animals per square meter).[2]


Caenis amica
Caenis anceps
Caenis arwini
Caenis bajaensis
Caenis candida
Caenis diminuta
Caenis hilaris
Caenis horaria L., 1758
Caenis latipennis
Caenis luctuosa Burmeister, 1838
Caenis macafferti
Caenis punctata
Caenis tardata
Caenis youngi


Imitations of this mayfly in hook sizes as small as # 28 are used for fly-fishing.[3] Tying fly imitations this small is difficult, hence the nickname "Anglers Curse."


  1. ^ Menetrey, N; B Oertli; M Sartori; A Wagner; JB Lachavanne (2008). "Eutrophication: are mayflies (Ephemeroptera) good bioindicators for ponds?". Hydrobiologia 597 (1): 125–135. doi:10.1007/s10750-007-9223-x. 
  2. ^ Int Panis, L; Bervoets L; Verheyen RF (1995). "The spatial distribution of Caenis horaria (L., 1758)(Caenidae, Ephemeroptera) in a pond in Niel (Belgium)". Bull. Annls Soc. belge Ent. 131: 47–51. 
  3. ^ Jason Neuswanger. "Mayfly Genus Caenis (Angler's Curses)". Retrieved 30 December 2014.