Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lively Pond Water

We scooped up a bit of pond water from my parents' farm this weekend. It has been an exciting time for us!
Tadpoles (I think gray tree-frog)
Predaceous water beetle larvae (AKA Water Tiger)
Back-Swimmer Water Beetle
Water Mite
Water Beetle

Tullaia has been making daily observations for her science journal. Some of those are...
(in my words)
-Tadpoles have shrunk in population due to the voracious appetite of the larvae and water bug, both being predators. We feed them lettuce that has been boiled for 10 minutes and frozen. They love it. The snails do too. There is a lot of pooping going on. Which is good for leg development and bad for the person cleaning the tank.
-The snails have mated (even though i think they are hermaphrodites?) and laid masses of eggs all over in a kidney bean shape.
-The predaceous water beetle larvae is a prowling creature that looks a bit like a centipede. When he was really hungry, he grabbed a snail and got up out of the water halfway so he could slurp the body out of the shell. We moved it out into it's own space, but woke up this morning to the container dumped over. (Possum?)
-Leech is sneaky. He slithers around as a ball or snake depending on his mood. He has killed several large snails by slithering in and taking over. I thought that parasites lived on other living beings, but he seems to live off other living beings eventually dying an early death.
-The Back-Swimmer is a consistent eater but prefers live bugs to freshly dead. Jasper is a pro at catching flies, but they are not as readily available as ones on the farm. So we have left our doors open a bit in order to capture them. And they like mosquitoes. Which I delight in giving them. Sorry nature lovers. The Back-Swimmer is also responsible for a missing tail on one of the younger taddies.
-Water mite is rather large and red with 6 little legs. His name was Tick. He is no longer part of the pond.
-Duckweed can be an aggressive plant, but i think it is so cute. The snails and taddies love it. It is like a miniature water lily.
-The water beetle disappeared and i guess he was eaten overnight. But i know they can also fly so perhaps we weren't providing him with the necessities of a good life and he flew west like everyone else looking for the good life. We miss him though.

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