Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Piešťany's Colonnade Bridge - the perfect wedding venue for mayflies

The 'wedding swarm' of mating mayflies attracted to the bridge could become a tourist attraction.

More information about travelling in Slovakia
Please see our Spectacular Slovakia travel guide.

Visitors to the Colonnade Bridge in Piešťany have lately been witnessing an interesting phenomenon. The bridge over the Váh river has been inundated by flying insects, namely the species Ephoron Virgo or mayfly, which lives for only a few hours in its adult form.

The occurrence of this insect is not rare in Piešťany or in other parts of Slovakia. However this has not always been the case.

“The pollution of the rivers, the Váh in this case, caused the insect population to die back,” Tomáš Derka from Department of Ecology of Comenius University explains, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The larvae live at the bottom of flowing water hidden under the rocks or buried in sand or mud, he added. The insect mates during the fly stage when the males create a “wedding swarm” and the females fly into it. The males die shortly after mating and the females fly off in a direction opposite to the the water flow to lay their eggs.

The insect is attracted by white light and as the Colonnade Bridge is also mainly white Derka says that at the time of mating it would be necessary to flood the bridge in red light so as not to lure the insects.

“Some of the dead insects on the bridge were mated, however, some did not have enough time,” Derka told TASR.

It is also important to protect the biotope of the larvae in the Váh river.

“Mayflies have already died out once, so we must take care of the cleanliness of the water,” he said, as cited by TASR.

This mating phenomenon also took place on the bridge last year. Derka thinks that it could become a tourist attraction. Similar matings of the species Palingenia longicauda take place in Hungary on the Tisza river. The Hungarians are promoting it as a blooming river, he summed up.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Touring wine cellars in Bratislava Photo

Nearly 30 wine cellars and wineries were opened in the boroughs of Rača, Nové Mesto, Vajnory and Devín during the first edition of Po Bratislavských Vínnych Pivniciach event.

Wine tasting in Pivnica u Štefana in Devín.

How to elect your mayor

When you live in a small village, you don't care about Bratislava. At home, everything is at stake.

Home (for a rest)

Returning from exile is a fine thing, but no one talks about how exhausting it is.

We want a decent Slovakia, people chanted in squares

On the eve of the Velvet Revolution anniversary, people protested in the thousands, calling for a decent Slovakia.

Bratislava protest November 16, 2018