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BioFresh celebrates the mayfly

May 16, 2011

The mayfly (image: wikipedia)

The mayfly has become an iconic fixture in popular, literary and angling culture due to its curious, ephemeral lifecycle, prehistoric heritage and the stunning sight of clouds of swarming insects appearing during a hatch.  To coincide with mayfly hatches across northern Europe, this week the blog will feature a special series of articles, photos and videos celebrating the importance of this incredible insect.

Oxford University’s Dr George McGavin (star of BBC’s “Lost Land of the Tiger”) contributed his support for BioFresh’s mayfly week, stating:

“Mayflies are a vital food source for freshwater fish and other species. Their aquatic lifecycle typically culminates in a mass emergence when all the mayflies in a population mature over one or two days. The advantage of this synchronised ‘hatch’ is that local predators feeding on the emerging adults with be quickly satiated. The adults, whose only purpose is to mate and lay eggs, do not feed and live for only a matter of hours.”

This fleeting, fascinating lifecycle has captured the imagination of many writers, artists, fishermen and others throughout history, and is celebrated in a diverse collection of articles beginning today.

Contributors to the week (16th-20th May) will include Malcolm Greenhalgh (author The Mayfly and the trout, prominent fishermen)  on the importance of the mayfly to fisherman; Gaylord Schanilec (woodcut and letterpress artist, author of Mayflies of the Driftless Region) on the role of the mayfly in art and culture; Dr Michael Monaghan (IGB Berlin) on Madagascan mayfly hyper-diversity; Paul Gaskell (Wild Trout partnership) on the “Mayfly in the classroom” education and citizen science project; BioFresh scientist Dr Daniel Hering on the Palingenia longicauda – the curious case of the largest European mayfly and other cutting edge research from the BioFresh project on the insect.

All the posts will be archived here

Enjoy the week!

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