By Gilbert Waldbauer

A water strider darts throughout a pond, its ft dimpling the outside stress; a tremendous water computer virus dives lower than, sporting 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 observe the main amazingly assorted population of the freshwater international. In his hallmark companionable kind, Waldbauer introduces us to the aquatic bugs that experience colonized ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers, specifically these in North the USA. alongside the best way we know about the varied varieties those arthropods take, in addition to their impressive modes of life—how they've got radiated into each that you can imagine area of interest within the water setting, and the way they focus on the demanding situations such an atmosphere poses to respiratory, imaginative and prescient, thermoregulation, and copy. We come across the caddis fly larva development 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 atmosphere inside of a glass plant; and bugs whose diversifications to the aquatic way of life are furnishing biomaterials engineers with rules for destiny purposes in and purchaser items. whereas studying in regards to the evolution, common heritage, and ecology of those bugs, readers additionally notice greater than a bit in regards to the scientists who research them. (20060630)

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Extra resources for A walk around the pond: insects in and over the water

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If you hold an adult—of any moth— by its wings, a colored “powder” rubs off on your fingers. It consists of almost microscopic scales that cover the wings the way shingles overlap on a roof. The ordinal name comes from Greek roots meaning scale and wing. Losing or damaging its cover of scales would probably doom a moth. They give the wing its color and pattern, in many moths the camouflage that protects them from predators, and in flight they are aerodynamically important because they smooth the flow of air over the wings.

When they arrived—accompanied by hordes of hungry, gorging swallows, dragonflies, and even bats—they made life absolutely miserable. Most were deterred by our repellent, but hundreds hovered within inches of our faces and some bit viciously despite the repellent. Had we not sheltered in our screened tent, we might well have been drained of blood during the night. The next morning, the mosquitoes had settled down in the grass at the edge of the beach. The previous afternoon we 46 Where They Live had walked through that grass with impunity, but that morning scores of the hungry mosquitoes bit our ankles and drove us away if we so much as stepped into the grass.

A few riffle beetles (family Elmidae) live in ponds or lakes, but most of these tiny plant eaters crawl on the bottom or on plants in cold, fast-flowing streams. The behavior of the beetles of the family Haliplidae is described by their common name, crawling water beetles. They feed on algae and other plants, and are often found in masses of vegetation. Almost all the herbivorous leaf beetles (family Chrysomelidae) are land dwellers; a mere handful, species of Donacia and Haemonia, feed on aquatic plants and are unusual because the larvae tap hollow spaces in these plants to obtain air.

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