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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 12:55 pm 
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awesome pictures agrius, amazing how the water beetle larvae can take tadpoles so much bigger than them. great how you've got so many things emerging,, some serious numbers there


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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 6:17 pm 
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its just a matter of holding on to the thrashing taddy until the poison takes effect i guess lol. if they get their jaws into the taddies body its over for it, but if they grab the tail, it sometimes breaks off letting the tadpole get away. not sure if it grows back, as i cant find any info online. the small larvae dont seem to have any fear of even big tadpoles at all. but the larvae do seem frightened of smooth newts and also each other. tadpoles are very afraid of both newts and the larvae, but esp the larvae, as newts dont eat tadpoles when they get big, but gd beetle larvae do lol. ive only seen one larvae eating another larvae once, even though they bump into each other alot. ive seen them eating a damselfly larvae, dragon fly larvae and a backswimmer nymph. only seen one dead smooth newt in the pond, and that was before the gd larvae. so i dont think they are preying on adult smooth newts. there are now a s@$t load of the larvae. they are everywhere i look of all sizes lol. they seem totally blind and dont know a tadpole is there unless they contact it. so at least the poor tadpoles have that going for them.

the chaser dragonflies seem to be hornet mimics. they fly around much like them, and quite slow for a dragonfly really. and even have yellow markings on the abdomen. they do chase each other too, so i guess they are well named lol

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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 11:40 pm 
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just been out with the torch in dark, looking in pond. female gc newt laying eggs again on the water soldier plant. shes there every night. there are a few visible gc newt larvae now, swimming around. they look like fish. found two large insect wings floating on the surface. one was a beetle wing, so either a great diving beetle or cockchafer, and the other was half a dragonfly wing. no other obvious remains. i wonder what killed them. my guess is bat or magpie. the many diving beetle larvae are still killing a lot of tadpoles. i saw one which was virtually a froglet, so bit annoyed with that. will any taddies make it? with the adult beetle dead (or flown off), hopefully there wont be any new larvae and some baby froggies can make it out.

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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 9:37 am 
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Sounds like a war zone...guess that's why they lay so many eggs aha tough life for a tadpole


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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:34 am 
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yah. and then theres drying out of their ponds. the pond (if you can call it that) i 'stole' the frogspawn from, about a mile away, dried up completely weeks ago. so i guess all of the tadpoles died. at least the frogspawn i took had a fighting chance. i reckon about a quarter will become froglets. theres still a lot of visible tadpoles, and many have back legs now.

newt larvae update. the 4 gc newtlings (from my own pond) are thriving, about 6 cm long now and right little monsters lol. i have them in a nice little setup on the windowsill, with hornwort and frogbit plants. im not happy putting them in pond yet, with those f'ing diving beetle larvae


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But in the cosmos there is balm as well as bitterness, and that balm is nepenthe.


Last edited by agrius on Wed May 31, 2017 1:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 1:46 pm 
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just observed approx 30 pairs of damselfly laying eggs, many in groups ! these on new zealand pygmyweed, an invasive species.

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eggs of gc newt, on water soldier

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amphibious bistort. a nice native plant with floating leaves. quite slow establishing and growing but doesnt swamp the pond or get destroyed by snails. i definitely recommend this plant in a wildlife pond if you can get it.

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But in the cosmos there is balm as well as bitterness, and that balm is nepenthe.


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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:41 am 
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What do you feed the gc newt larvae? Just daphnia?


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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:41 am 
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At first they eat tiny swimming creatures, cyclops and things. And i guess till they get quite big its their main food source because they seem to stay floating in mid water where the little plankton animals live. I dont think smooth newt larvae float about in the open like this. When they grow bigger they can take small larvae and worms too which makes feeding them easier if you can find small enough worms. Hatchling worms are fairly easy to find in compost. Sunlight and tweezers helps. Im feeding these big larve now on bigger worms cut in half or quarters. I dont really like doing this as its a bit cruel. Id prefer to feed them on whole worms but appropriate sized small ones about 2cm long are very hard to find.

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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:51 pm 
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found another dragonfly wing, quite along way from pond :(


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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:54 pm 
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diving beetle larvae molting and another tadpole not fast enough.


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But in the cosmos there is balm as well as bitterness, and that balm is nepenthe.
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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:39 pm 
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decided to release the 4 big efts into the pond now they are starting to become baby newts. they still have gills but losing their larvae fins and getting adult markings and warty texture. they also now dont float around like smaller larvae, but walk on the bottom like adults do. their legs are chunky and strong now, not puny like the baby larvae.

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found one of the big newt efts in the pond tonight. looking good.

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still worrying numbers of diving beetle larvae. i put a dead privet hawk moth in the pond. later on, there were 6 larvae feeding on it. they did not seem to attack each other, or at least they were able to fend off the attack. was hoping the larvae would disappear but another adult female is in the pond. so probably get a new batch of these devils :)

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But in the cosmos there is balm as well as bitterness, and that balm is nepenthe.


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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:20 pm 
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incredible photos agrius! absolute carnage...


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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:41 am 
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thanks will. i just point the camera :)

i dont know why my privet hawks are dying after emerging (it doesnt matter as ive got at least one pairing and so likely over 100 eggs) but at least they are finding a use in the pond as beetle food and if it diverts them from tadpoles its a good thing. there was both an adult and larvae feeding on another moth last night. interesting to see larvae and adult forms together, although im sure they would kill each other if they wernt so able to deflect attack. also i saw a larva leaving the pond to pupate but there are plenty more big ones still yet to bugger off. good news is the great crested newt efts seem fairly immune to the larvae, because they hang around in mid water and can swifly evade capture in any direction. tadpoles tend to stay at the bottom, where vegetation might impede their escape. biggest count so far is 15 visible at once but i expect there are more

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But in the cosmos there is balm as well as bitterness, and that balm is nepenthe.


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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:23 pm 
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at last i found a southern hawker nymph, from last summers egg laying females. not surprising as its very small, maybe 2nd or 3rd instar. hope theres hundreds more.

cuuuuuuuuute :)

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But in the cosmos there is balm as well as bitterness, and that balm is nepenthe.


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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:38 pm 
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had a special visitor today. i should know the species but i dont until i look it up.


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But in the cosmos there is balm as well as bitterness, and that balm is nepenthe.
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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:10 am 
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a few of these little dragonflies have been emerging, although i missed most of them. i think they are common darters, the little red jobs. havnt really spotted any larvae. i think they must have been hiding in the depths of the vegetation zones. the ones ive seen have been in the jaws of the diving beetle larvae.

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a southern hawker emerged but i missed it. just the nymphal case to show for it. heres its pic. theres some other cases and a common darter too.

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But in the cosmos there is balm as well as bitterness, and that balm is nepenthe.


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 Post subject: Re: my new pond project
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:29 am 
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Pics.......

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