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Iceland Mag

Animals

Photos, video: The black swarms of midges are back at Mývatn

By Staff

  • The view Swarms of black midges are blocking the view at Mývatn! Photo/Árni Einarsson

  • Looking at the sky Clear blue skies, and black swarms. Photo/Árni Einarsson

  • The dog Fróði Árni Einarsson, the director of the Natural Research Station at Mývatn snapped this photo of his dog, Fróði. Fróði doesn't let the midges get him down. Photo/Árni Einarsson

  • Árni and the midges The insects aren't dangerous, but very annoying! Photo/Árni Einarsson

  • Best buddies Árni and Fróði enjoying the sun, ignoring the midges. Photo/Árni Einarsson

The midge swarms are back at Mývatn! Yesterday and today three of the different midge species who live in North Iceland have been hatching, creating enormous black swarms. The local newspaper Fréttablaðið reports that locals have not seen similar swarms in recent years.

Read more: The reason for the non-existence of mosquitoes in Iceland

Helgi Héðinsson, who operates a local tourism business, told Fréttablaðið that he hadn't seen anything like this year's swarms:

"I haven't seen them burst out with this kind of energy before, I can't remember anything like this. Older men tell me that this is among the worst midge swarms ever seen in the region."

He told Fréttablaðið that some foreign visitors have worried that the midges are dangerous and bite, but the midges at Mývatn are completely harmless, even if they can become a bit annoying Helgi admits.

Read moreAre there midges in Iceland?

Árni Einarsson, a biologist and the director of the Nature Research Station at Mývatn took the above photos of the midges today and yesterday, as well as the following video:

Remember, the midges are harmless. Simple head-nets are ideal midge protection for travellers who intend to visit the Mývatn region this week. 

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