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Myella Ponds  - Dave Bentley - Ecological Consultant

Bugs found in Myella Ponds
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Dear All,  

Ponds at Myella

I stopped a couple of nights with you 15-16th Feb 2006 and had a look at your ponds, and said I would let you know what I found. Well please bear in mind that I am a professional ecologist in the UK and not Australia and thus anything below should be taken with a large pinch of salt. I have used what I know about UK ponds and have only reference to a simple guide on Australian ponds. The English names are UK English for something that looks like your plant in the UK . I have been quite busy touring the Americas for 7.5 months but am now free to tackle this simple report. I will see about attaching photos or maybe sending a disk.  

Cow pond near sunset viewing point  

The pond has a grass fringe with patches of Soft Rush and a Gallingale or similar. The banks are dotted with shrubs. Algae is encouraged by the cattle access. The size is about 11m by 30m. And it is shallow and clouded by cattle.

There is some Water-plantain and the American tropical alien Water Hyacinth (blue-flowers) grows in a small patch.  

I found no leeches, no flatworms, no freshwater cockles nor mussels, no larger crustaceans, no pond skaters, no Stoneflies, no Mayflies, no Caddis. I found no fish.  

Present were:

Lymnaea peregra
?              The Wandering Snail
Physa ?
                                  A Bladder Snail
Water Bugs:

?                                 Lesser Water Boatmen
Notonecta ?
                          Greater Backswimmer
?            Small Backswimmer
                              Pigmy Backswimmer
                            Giant Water Bug
                         Water Measurer  

Anax ?
                                   Emperor Dragonfly
                             Blue Damselflies
                               Chaser Dragonfly

Acilius ?                                Medium to Bigger Beetle
?                       Smaller Diving Beetle
Hyphydrus ovatus
?            Egg-like Diving Beetle
?                         Spangled Egg-like Diving Beetle
?                          Small Grey Scavenger Beetle
?                              Small Black Scavenger Beetle
?                           2 or 3 species of this Scavenger Beetle genus
Dytiscus semisulcatus
?       Black-bellied Great Diving Beetle
A Red and Black Leaf Beetle

?                          Tear-drop shaped diving Beetle

Frog and Frog tadpole (Possibly Striped Burrowing Frog).

Big Pond

This was about 45m in diameter and square or circular, not paced out due to tall bank set in tall herbs. Deep open water present. Patches of large-leaved Water-lilies with white hair-fringed flowers with 5 white petals and yellow centres. A smaller variegated lily grew amongst it. There are marshy banks with what may be Amphibious Bistort, and lots of sprawling yellow-flowered Water-primrose, another tropical American alien. There is a patch of Reedmace, sometimes called Bul-rush or Cat-tail. The Gallingale plant fringes the edges of the banks. The pond is set in damp grassland.

Planorbid                             Like the UK ís White Ramshorn but with a keel

Water Bugs:
?                      Giant Water Bug bearing eggs. Not more than 12mm long.
Microvelia ?
                         Lesser Water Cricket or Small Water Striders (Aus)
?            Small Backswimmer

?                         Darter Dragonfly

?                          Small Grey Scavenger Beetle
                                 Small Black Scavenger Beetle
?                          Tear-drop shaped diving Beetle
Dytiscus semisulcatus
?       Black-bellied Great Diving Beetle

I have no idea how to rank these habitats other than to say that they are clearly valuable to the species that live in them. Neither appears species rich to me, but then again I was only using my small net so may have missed plenty. Still I had a good time, and I took a video of my encounter with the Giant Water Bug Lethocerus which shows my amazement at catching something of such a size. Its too large to email!

 Best wishes,

Yours faithfully,  

Dave Bentley BSc 79 Brecon Drive, Bury, Lancs. BL9 9LE UK T/F 0161 763 7832, 07944 122292



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