Ephemeral Pond Critters Revisited

The wonder of ephemeral pools is that they are populated by animals that take this annual disappearing act in stride—animals that are prepared to dry up with the pond or to get out of Dodge (timing is everything), and therein lie many tales. An astonishing array of animals use ephemeral ponds as a place to drink, hunt, and breed, but an ephemeral pond is a challenging place to call home. The still, shallow water warms quickly (which encourages speedy metamorphoses) but contains little oxygen.

Giant Casemaker Caddisfly (Family Phryganeidae)

Caddisflies are famous for having soft-bodied, aquatic larvae that, depending on their species and habitat use plant materials or teeny stones to construct portable cases. For glue they use silk that they produce in a gland in their lower lip. The Giant Casemakers are found through much of the U.S., into Canada. Their larvae live in cold water, both still and gently flowing, and they construct their cases by sticking vegetation together longitudinally or in a spiral

Bugs Without Bios VIII

Today we feature three bugs about whom not too much information is circulating, other than their presence in museum collections and on state/regional biodiversity lists. If they have anything in common, it’s that all three are odd little insects.

Ephemeral Pond Critters

The BugLady has been hanging out at her local ephemeral pond again, looking at small things in the water. She loves the cycles of ephemeral ponds and the critters they contain. Ephemeral ponds are (most years) just that—ephemeral. These are here-today-and-gone-tomorrow ponds, gather-ye-rosebuds-while-ye-may wetlands.

Caddisfly

Caddisflies are famous for the cases built for protection by their soft-bodied larvae (the only natural “armor” they possess is located on their head, thorax and legs) and for the larvae’s ability to produce silk thread via a silk gland in their lower lip. They use silk to “glue” materials together to construct the case, to net some food, and to modify the case before they pupate.