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Do you know the Ephémères? I'm talking to you about African Nature

Updated: Jan 26

After months of drought, African nature is waking up... The smell of rain, earth... Olfactory African memories engraved in my memory... The first rains bring the first flights of termites, mayflies and other insects in Africa and elsewhere in the world...


Dans la nature Africaine, on trouve toutes sortes d'insectes, notamment ces éphémères

After the rains, it is important not to leave the lights of the house on at night, because we are immediately invaded by clouds of mayflies! They go everywhere in the house, and fly in all directions, very attracted by the light...




African Nature and its curiosities ! ... But what is an "ephemeral" ?


At home, in Ivory Coast, they are winged termites. They come out of the ground after the rain, they live for a few hours, the time to reproduce, they lose their wings and they die... They live without even having time to eat; They don't have a digestive tract! Hence their name "Ephemeral"... They are completely harmless winged insects. But their movement in vast clouds of several thousand individuals in the evening can be impressive! They cling to walls, pass under doors and windows. They even pass through mosquito nets! And the next day, all that's left is a huge carpet of wings...and their lifeless bodies all over the place...



A bit of history and explanations :


Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) are the oldest winged insects still alive since they appeared more than 300 million years ago! There are many species and you have probably come across them one day...


Une curiosité de la Nature Africaine, ces éphémères

The mayflies are 1.2 to 1.6 inch long, large maximum. The ribbed, membranous and rigid wings, always in a vertical position, are 4 in number. These insects have short antennae and 4 legs with the front ones being longer than the others, as if elongated forwards, which is even more marked in the male.







Mayflies mate to reproduce in flight. The females deposit their eggs in the water, they die, as well as the males shortly after. The larvae will remain at this stage for 2 to 3 years and when they hatch, their "ephemeral" adult life will not last more than 24 to 48 hours.


A delicious dish !


It seems that grilled, they have the taste of grilled bacon?.... Personally, I never wanted to taste it! But I remember the metal trays of sun-roasted mayflies, prepared and eaten by my friends... It is also a popular dish in Mexico. Mayflies are also very popular with birds, bats and fish... But not grilled this time 😉. When the clouds of mayflies die and cover the ground, sometimes with a rather thick layer, they constitute a good natural fertilizer !



And you ? Have you ever seen ephemera ? Have you ever eaten it ? I'm curious to know... Tell me ?





If you want to discover more about the nature in Africa, it's here :




And if you just want to discover the rest of my blog, it's here :



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