Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It Came from the Bottom of the Lake

Okay, not quite, but we were looking for aquatic invertebrates in a frog pond and at the outlet of Rich Lake - close enough.

This group of seventh graders had a great day for insect dipping. First we sampled at the outlet, where rushing water and rocking rocks made dipping a challenge. Mostly we had to turn over rocks to find the critters.

Stonefly nymph cases abounded - they were on every rock and all over the grasses along the shoreline! Here is a close-up shot of one; note the crack in the back, from which the adult (see below) emerged.

Some of the kids were really into it, while others preferred the view from the shore.

After a leisurely lunch on the bridge,

we moved to the Frog Pond. What a difference: still water, lots of emergent vegetation. Frogs galore, one tadpole, and many minnows.

This scarey-looking thing is a giant diving beetle (water tiger) larva - the mouthparts are impressive:

These guys were communing on the cattails:

All in all, it was a successful outing. Chaulk another one up for insects!

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