Tuesday, April 29, 2008
On the weekend, the Wookie and I took a little stroll along the Sackville River and stopped to look for caddis fly larvae. I found three beauties, at least I thought they were, and took some underwater green stuff growing in a pond connected to the river. We took them home and put them in my aquarium which I had prepared beforehand with beads on the bottom. I ended up adding some aquarium gravel as well, as the poor things couldn't get a grip on the bottom of the aquarium or on the beads to propel themselves forward.
After watching the little guys for a while and doing some interweeb research, I thought maybe I had diving beetle larvae instead of caddisflies. The pump in my aquarium also went kaput so I had to pick up a new one yesterday. And after thinking I had diving beetle larvae, figured I better get them something to eat. So I bought some feeder fish, making many apologies to the fish. But last night after putting the fish in with the larvae I really think now that I have caddisfly larvae. Which means that the fish will live and not be eaten.
There are two small and one very large mean-looking caddisfly. They brought their homes with them when they arrived, which means the hollowed out twigs they drag around with them for protection. It's quite amusing to watch these things. On their rear ends they have two pincer like legs to hang onto their home and they pull themselves along with the front legs. Depending on the species they eat plants and other animals. The ones I have appear to be quite content with the plants in the aquarium, perhaps eating decaying material and microscopic animals living on the plants.
My first task is to remove the "twig" homes to see if these little fellas spin silk or glue and use the beads to construct a home. If they are of a species that doen't spin glue then I'll have to go find other ones....I'll keep you up to date on this little experiment. And for a look at what these things can make given the right material take a look at this website: