Danish Mayfly: file photo
A board of trustees under German Entomological Institute has conferred the Insect of the Year honour to the Danish Mayfly on Friday.
The penny-sized winged creature sadly would not live enough to enjoy its fame as it’s life lasts for few days only.
According to the Institute, the award is given to embolden the human-insect relationship & to stress the role of mini creatures like bugs in our ecosystem.
It is good news that it currently does not face an existential threat. "Fortunately, there is no acute danger for our 'insect of the year 2021.'
However, due to its special development cycle, the Danish mayfly is dependent on ecologically intact waters with sufficient oxygen content," said Axel Vogel, minister of agriculture, environment and climate protection in Germany's upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat.
The scientific name of the fly is Ephemera Danica. Its wings are marked distinctly by vibrant black spots & patterns. Mayflies had their existence long before 335 million years & by today 140 species are found in central Europe.
The distinguished feature of the fly is its life-cycle, the way it rapidly reaches its maturity from the egg in between the period where its larvae take 3-years to grow itself completely.
“Shortly before the transition from aquatic to terrestrial life, a layer of air forms between the old and new skin of the adult larvae,” said Schmitt, chairman of the commission of scientists and representatives from research institutions and conservation organizations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
"By reducing its specific weight, the larva rises to the water surface. Once there, the larval skin bursts and within a few seconds a flyable mayfly hatches.”