patrol for the safeguard of the Tisza mayflies
Nimfea Association, Hortobágy National Park and the
Water Police of the Tisza has conducted concerted actions
to prevent the illegal collection of the protected mayfly
of the Tisza. The Tisza River is in „full blossom” in June
– as the swarming of this fragile is called, because the
huge masses of buzzing mayflies make the river look like
a flowery meadow.
This unique phenomenon is caused by Palingenia
longicauda, the largest mayfly in Europe, which – after
spending three years in larvae form in the mud - hatches
in masses in each June on certain sections of the Tisza
and mates during its short, three-hour long life.
During the days of swarming not only nature-lovers come
to see and admire the beauty of the mayflies, but also collectors
of the larvae come to the banks of the Tisza, to dig out
the larvae from the mud. The larvae are collected to become
baits at the end of fishing-rods, although the mayfly is
protected, so its specimens can not be collected, neither
alive nor dead.
Stopping the illegal collection of the larvae
is especially important as this mayfly has become extinct
in several countries of Europe, and the Hungarian population
is also endangered by the pollution of the Tisza.