WPY 2018

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2018

Urban Wildlife

Jose Manuel Grandío, Spain

Misguided Mayflies

As dusk fell over the River Ebro, a thick cloud of mayflies descended on the bridge. Confused by the dazzling lights, the insects had mistaken it for water, laying their eggs on the dark asphalt. Jose had only minutes to document this phenomenon before the air cleared – a carpet of doomed eggs and wasted bodies left behind.

After emerging from their larval cases, female adult mayflies have just hours to lay their eggs before they die. The bridge lights have likely upset their navigation and while the phenomenon may be a spectacle for tourists, for the mayflies the effect of the artificial light has devastating consequences.

Technical specification

Nikon D4 + 24–70mm f2.8 lens; 1/125 sec at f4; ISO 1600; Nikon SB-800 flash

River Ebro, Tudela, Spain: latitude 42.066273, longitude -1.602344 River Ebro, Tudela, Spain: latitude 42.066273, longitude -1.602344

River Ebro, Tudela, Spain

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Jose Manuel Grandío

Jose Manuel Grandío, Spain

Jose has been a wildlife photographer for fifteen years. He specialises in bird photography and has worked on several studies about bird migration. His photos have received several international photography awards. José is a member of the Spanish Association of Nature Photographers (Aefona) and the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO/BirdLife).