By Gilbert Waldbauer
A water strider darts throughout a pond, its ft dimpling the skin stress; an immense water malicious program dives less than, wearing his mate’s eggs on his again; hidden between plant roots at the silty backside, a dragonfly larva stalks unwary minnows. slightly skimming the outside, within the air above the pond, swarm mayflies with diaphanous wings. Take this stroll round the pond with Gilbert Waldbauer and realize the main amazingly varied population of the freshwater global. In his hallmark companionable sort, Waldbauer introduces us to the aquatic bugs that experience colonized ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers, particularly these in North the US. alongside the way in which we know about the varied types those arthropods take, in addition to their extraordinary modes of life—how they've got radiated into each conceivable area of interest within the water atmosphere, and the way they focus on the demanding situations such an atmosphere poses to respiratory, imaginative and prescient, thermoregulation, and replica. We stumble upon the caddis fly larva construction its protecting case and camouflaging it with flow detritus; eco-friendly darner dragonflies mating midair in an acrobatic wheel formation; ants that experience tailored to the tiny water setting inside a tumbler plant; and bugs whose diversifications to the aquatic way of life are furnishing biomaterials engineers with rules for destiny functions in and purchaser items. whereas studying concerning the evolution, common background, and ecology of those bugs, readers additionally realize greater than a bit in regards to the scientists who learn them. (20060630)
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Extra info for A walk around the pond: insects in and over the water
The movement of the long, narrow wings, with a spot of white at the tips was, to the eye, a circular revolving whirl, with the needle-sized body trailing behind. ” This damselfly revealed its kinship to Ola Fincke’s giant damselflies by its habit of feeding on spiders. “From under leaves or from the heart of widespread webs, good-sized spiders were snatched. ” In the coastal waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans—and even hundreds of miles offshore—water striders of the genus Halobates skate on the waves.
In the coastal waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans—and even hundreds of miles offshore—water striders of the genus Halobates skate on the waves. They are among the few hundred insect species that live in or on the seas. But why Where They Live 41 have so few of the 900,000 known insects invaded this vast environment? The seas, after all, cover about two thirds of the globe and, mostly in the coastal shallows, offer multitudes of opportunities for an animal such as an insect to make a living—as ecologists would put it, they offer a multitude of ecological niches.
These creatures eat each other, the decomposing leaves and the few dead insects that fall or are blown into the tree hole, and also the bacteria and fungi that do the decomposing. They also feed on one-celled algae, other microorganisms, and tiny particles of detritus that they filter from the water. In 1974, Norman Fashing of William and Mary College published an article on a new species of aquatic mite that he had collected at several sites in the eastern United States. This 32 Where They Live tiny mite, barely visible to the naked eye, lives only in waterfilled tree holes and feeds on the mass of decomposing leaves and other organic matter at the bottom of the hole.
A walk around the pond: insects in and over the water by Gilbert Waldbauer