There are known to be over 2000 different species of Ephemeroptera or Mayfly distributed worldwide.
Freshwater ecosystems are critical to the survival of mankind….so whether you like bugs or not, its your responsibility to be aware of how important they are in your everyday ability to live your life. The more aware we are of their importance the better our lives will be in health, wealth, ability, mind and mantra…FACT… (those are in no particular order BTW).
So lets take just one of those little annoying blighters to start with…..Mayfly, whether you knew it or not they are ambassadors for good quality freshwater ecosystems, and if your freshwater ecosystem is healthy….blah blah ….you know the rest.
I am an amateur photographer, below that in fact, I have no idea what I am doing, but for me these Mayfly made it easy to capture something special.
Most Mayfly cannot survive long in poor quality water so they are a great indicator of healthy water.
They have quite unique life-cycles, starting off with up to 2 years worth of ‘living it larvae’ helping to keep ponds, lakes, rivers and ditches, fresh and algal blooms low by chowing down on plant debris, algae and minute water creatures that are almost invisible to the naked eye. During this time they shed their exoskeletons around 40 times!!! then during a transformation for reasons that scientists are still unsure of, they emerge from the water as a dull looking brown fly that hides in vegetation awaiting sexual maturity. When this small creepy lurker feels ready for some action he crawls up some vegetation and then transforms again into the magical wispy fairy like form that we recognise as an adult Mayfly ready to mate.
The males swarm in huge numbers across surfaces of freshwater bodies all over the world. This attracts the eyes of the equally beautiful females and the males grab them as they come in looking for the best in show. For a female, after that first crucial date she lays her eggs on the surface of the water and dies… others in the same family dive to the water-bed attach their eggs to something solid and drown as the weight of the water holds them under.
As you can imagine this huge swarm of Mayfly deaths provides a massive nutrient boost for fish and many other creatures involved in the maintenance of a healthy freshwater ecosystem, so this act should not be taken lightly.
I won’t go into it now, but Mayfly as well as many other invertebrates can provide humans with a rich source of protein, which will be necessary in the near future due to the rapid depletion and utter destruction of our other food sources.
I am exhausted just writing this so imagine how a Mayfly feels….
So lets keep and eye out for these guys and remember how lucky we are to have them….
Thank you Mayfly, without you we would be stuffed!
All the best