Saturday, April 2, 2011

Water Snails

Water Snails and Unidentified Creatures
The most amazing trick I've seen by any water creature is the way water snails work their way upside down across a stretch of clear water, seeming to slide along on the under-side of the meniscus of the water.

Unfortunately neither of my cameras is able to record this behaviour or I'd be able to show you. The two snails in the picture are helping clean the side of the bath/pond.

My reference, The Wildlife of Greater Brisbane, shows nine pond snails, none of which match my little snails, but mentions that Australia has about 170 species of freshwater snails. Must be one of them.

I think I've mentioned that I use baths for frog ponds, because cane toads, a serious pest here,  can't get into them. It's the overhanging lip I think that stops the toads and their lack of sticky pads on their toes.

The little black dots all jumped out of the water-wort I was harvesting/weeding - an overgrowth - that was shutting the sun out from everything else. At first I was under the impression the dots were spores from the nardoo (water fern) Or perhaps spores from the water wort.

Then the little critters moved. Swam around. They're smaller than pin heads and by the next day were gone. Eaten by the giant 3 cm fish? Eaten by the ginormously fat tadpoles? Hiding under the vegetation? Eaten by the dragonfly larvae?

I'm very tempted to search out a microscope. Though when I started this blog I told myself I should be able to go for at least a year recording things visible to the naked eye. And that year is not nearly over.

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