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What species of insect is this? Collected in spring in the United Kingdom near a river in an urban area during the late afternoon. They were flying up and down in the air.

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    $\begingroup$ Three tails mean ephemeroptera (mayfly). I don't know what species though. Mayflies can pop up very numerous all of sudden as they sometimes all hatch at the same time and fly around like crazy. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b May 21 '18 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ Nice pictures! What is the approximative size? $\endgroup$ – Remi.b May 21 '18 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ 1 cm body + 2 cm tail $\endgroup$ – charlesdarwin May 21 '18 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ It only has a day to live. Let it go. $\endgroup$ – daniel May 21 '18 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ I did, don't worry. I don't keep animals unless I know how to take care of them. It was quite agitated but it flew away from my pot extremely fast into the sky. $\endgroup$ – charlesdarwin May 21 '18 at 22:17
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Based on this list of mayflies of the UK, your mayfly is from the genus Ephemera. Of the three species listed at that site for the UK, the closest match is to Ephemera vulgata, and it looks quite close. The image of E. vulgata below is from Wikipedia here.

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