Sunday, 2 May 2010

Pond Life

I suppose that being a bank holiday it shouldn't have been a shock that today's weather was dreadful. The garden needed the rain anyway.

I did had a look at the pond and as well as the Common Newts that featured a couple of days ago I was pleased to find this Great Diving Beetle(Dytiscus marginalis). The wing cases, elytra, are ridged in this beetle, which means that it is a female. The elytra of the male beetle are smooth.

The adults and larvae of this beetle are voracious predators, their prey can include fish and tadpoles. They periodically swim to the surface in order to take in air. Adults often fly at night, and this is the way they populate new ponds and gravel pits.

There are still some tadpoles in the pond, in the cool weather it is difficult to know how many as they stay deeper in the pond. It will be interesting to see how many small frogs emerge from the pond later.

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