Date of this Version
Systematic, faunistic and ecological aspects of the six families and 34 species and subspecies in the order Ephemeroptera currently recorded from Cuba are reviewed based primarily on a reference collection located at the Universidad de Oriente (Santiago de Cuba), collections at the Institute of Ecology and Systematics (Havana) and historic literature. A key to nymphs is included with photographs of significant features of many species. An annotated list of species is presented with comments on type localities, species ecology and distribution. The morpho- ecological types of the nymphs are updated according to current taxonomic changes, and indicator species of organic contamination are analyzed according to the BMWP-Cub index. Based on present data, mayflies are best collected between January and June although many species are present throughout the year, and almost half of the species are widely distributed. Possible routes of penetration from the continents toward Cuba are from South America through the arc of islands formed by the Lesser Antilles, from Central and South America through the peninsula of Yucatan, and via an ancient landspan or island chain from northern South America (GAARlandia). With one exception, there is no evidence for dispersal of species from North America (through Florida) to Cuba (and then to the Antilles) or vice versa. The pattern of geographical distribution of Ephemeroptera inside Cuba is very similar to that of the orders Trichoptera and Odonata. The greatest number of species is found in the Eastern region and the fewest in the Central and Central-East regions. The high endemism (76.5%) is probably due to geographical isolation and processes that bring about this phenomenon together with the low vagility that characterizes the order.