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Video: Mayflies swarm a gas station in Duluth

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A swarm of mayflies sits atop an ice cooler at Holiday Stationstore in Duluth Sunday. 2 / 2

The end of July brought a night of mayflies to much of western Duluth, as seen in this video shot Sunday night at the Holiday Stationstore on the corner of Grand and Central avenues.

A massive hatch led to swarms of the short-lived insects gathering on buildings, streets, signs and anywhere else they could land on Sunday night — far from the first time that’s happened along the St. Louis River corridor, but a spectacle nonetheless.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports that mayfly hatches are signs of a healthy ecosystem; the insect, “a cornerstone of the aquatic food web, is a very sensitive creature. Sensitive to chemical pollutants, increases in suspended solids (erosion) and decreased dissolved oxygen (DO) levels.”

They’re an important food source for birds, bats and fish.

Barrett Chase

Barrett Chase is the web editor for the Duluth News Tribune — managing in addition to the News Tribune's multimedia and social media — and night city editor. 

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