The giant or Tisza mayfly is Europe's largest species of mayfly. Unlike other mayfly species, the adults never lose contact with the water surface, trailing their tails along it as they swarm. Sometimes they become confused, however, and mistake wet road surfaces for the river.
Scientific name: Palingenia longicauda
Giant mayflies have only half an hour's flying time to find a mate.
The lifespan of an adult mayfly can vary from just 30 minutes to one day depending on the species, making them the proud owners of shortest adult lifespan of any insect. In this memorable sequence the transient beauty of some natural history events is clearly illustrated. To film them you have to make sure you are in the right place at exactly the right time, which takes not just careful planning, but good luck. With the male mayflies energy reserves allowing for only half an hour's flying time, the window of opportunity for capturing this event is stressfully short for both crew and creature!
The Tisza mayfly can be found in a number of locations including: Europe. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.
The following habitats are found across the Tisza mayfly distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
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