Thursday, 30 April 2009

Pond life -weird and wonderful

No - not the chavvy type - the real thing.

Many thanks to the safari's official 'extreme' photographer, Raf. Pictures obtained in arduous conditions - pitch blackness for one.
So what have we got, well this is the Water Scorpion. Totally harmless to us and the 'sting'/tail is actually breathing syphon. See the lower picture where it is raised to the underside of the water surface. They are flattened so that they can sneak betwwen the leaves at the bottom of the pond.

A Water Measurer that just wouldn't keep quite still enough for a perfect shot.

This wee timorous beesty is a Water Hog Louse, very closely related to the terrestrial Woodlice and the littoral Sea Slater. Quite a big one this one.

Very much a bonus find was a Water Cricket. He's well marked for such a tiny critter, obviously in the middle of the night we could really see this patterning. A check on the National Biodiversity Network maps revealed a huge gap in our area; probably not indicating that they are not found or are rare but more likely no other nutters have looked so closely a pond life in the middle of the night. He's less than 10mm long.

Several species of Water Beetles were seen during the safari but this was the only one that was photogenic. Without exception the others did their utmost to avoid the spotlight zooming away from the light like double fast scuba divers.

At least two species of Leeches were found. Some of the bigger ones reached 10cm/4 inches fully stretched out. When I was in Borneo one of the objectives was to get a photo of a huge tropical leech stuck to my leg oozing blood somewhere deep in the rain-forest...sadly/fortunately no Leeches were seen during the entire stay.

Last of all a cute vertebrate... a Frog, croaking at us and not particularly happy at being in the lime light.

Where to next? Holiday weekend coming up but working and more importantly Everton are in the cup final...come on you Blues...the scouse ones not the southern ones!!!!!! (Actually Everton will be the ones in blue having won the toss to keep their first strip)
In the meantime let us know what is out there in your pitch black outback.

1 comment:

Monika said...

Eeek, the water scorpion is not someone I'd like to come face to face with!

That first leech looks pretty gorged...did you get your missing photo last night?!