Shad Flies – the species has been around for more than 300 million years!

Shad Fly T-shirt

Shad Fly T-shirt © Lucy Izon

North Bay, Ontario – So why do some of the people of North Bay walk around with a big insect on their t-shirts? Theyʼre celebrating the arrival of something special from Mother Nature: Shad flies, some of the oldest insects alive – a species that has been around for more than 300 million years! The skinny shrimp-like ʻShadsʼ, which are also known as May flies, arrive for a few weeks in late June and only live for from a few hours to two weeks. They are an important food source for other insects, birds and fish. The good news: even after millions of years of existence, the curious little creatures have mouths that are not fully developed so they canʼt bite.

Shad flies are found in fresh water lakes like Lake Nipissing. North Bay, which is on the Trans Canada Hwy. The city sits on the eastern shore of big Lake Nipissing, one of Northern Ontario’s largest lakes. You can explore the lake on the 320-passenger ‘Chief Comanda II’, which offers regular day-time and evening summer cruises. You can visit the Dionee Quituplets Museum (more than 3 million people came to visit the quints themselves during the Great Depression), and at Discovery North Bay in North Bay’s historic CPR Station you can learn about local heritage.  Want to see the fall colours? Ontario Northland often offers a ‘fall colour’ train trip from North Bay called the Dream Catcher Express, which travels the 100 km to Temagami and returns the same day.



Memorial Drive, North Bay, Ontario, Canada


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