|A water beetle Rhantus suturalis on bare new pond-liner - its breathing air-bubble is visible at its rear.|
|Beetle larva in side view|
|Beetle larva in dorsal view|
Again, I haven't identified this larva (yet) though it does look like Rhantus, maybe a smallish early stage - time will tell, but there are several which can be seen swimming actively to and from the surface. Meanwhile, up on the surface, taking advantage of surface tension to allow propulsion, pondskaters of the genus Gerris, probably the common pondskater G. lacustris, hunt for prey items that fall into (or rather, onto) the water. This species is well known as an early coloniser of new ponds (Denton 2007) and can be seen skating rapidly towards potential prey which is then pierced with the tubular mouthparts.
|A pondskater Gerris lacustris, an early coloniser of new ponds|
So, although the pond is unlikely to mature that much more before next spring when the first full plant-growing season starts, an aquatic community is beginning to develop and will undoubtedly feature here from time to time as interesting species and behaviour catch my eye.
'Til then, if you'd like more info about creating a wildlife-friendly garden pond, why not download an advice booklet here (from the excellent Pond Conservation).
Denton, J. (2007). Water Bugs and Water Beetles of Surrey. Surrey Wildlife Trust, Woking.
Foster, G.N. & Friday, L.E. (2012). Keys to the adults of water beetles of Britain and Ireland (Part 1) (2nd ed.). Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects 4(5): i-iv, 1-144.
Savage, A.A. (1989). Adults of the British Aquatic Hemiptera Heteroptera. A Key with Ecological Notes. FBA, Ambleside.