Launched in 1995, Mayfly Central is the first Web site dedicated to sharing information about any insect. It serves as an information resource affiliated with the Department of Entomology at Purdue University that is led by Dr. Luke Jacobous in the Division of Science at IUPUC.
While Mayfly Central information is useful to a broad audience, it is oriented more toward general users and enthusiasts rather than Ephemeroptera specialists.
Most visitors to the site are students, fly-fishers and naturalists, and state and federal agency employees responsible for preserving and protecting natural resources by assessing and conserving freshwater ecosystems, such as streams, rivers, and their wildlife.
That wildlife includes one of the major occupants and indicators for these natural habitats—the mayflies.
The program is a multidimensional research and education program dedicated to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge about mayflies, or the insect order Ephemeroptera, from throughout the world. The resource involves information about mayflies, especially the taxonomy and geographic distribution of species in North America and Central America.
At the root of the program is a premier research and reference collection of mayflies housed in Purdue's Entomological Research Collection (PERC), which includes over 400,000 specimens, 2,000+ species, and approximately 3,900 type specimens from throughout the world representing most known taxa and numerous new taxa yet to be described.
Since Mayfly Central was first launched, the collection has grown to encompass 250,000 specimens, making it one of the most comprehensive collection of mayflies in existence.