|My wife/field-assistant doing some pond-netting.|
|A three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus - the dorsal spines are just visible|
|The water-slater or hog-louse Asellus aquaticus|
Another common-but-overlooked species is Plea minutissima, the 'least water-boatman'. It is broadly similar to other water-boatmen seen 'rowing' beneath the water's surface, but is tiny (around 1.8 - 2.8mm long) and its domed shape means that it is initially more likely to look like a small beetle than a water bug at a glance (Denton, 2007) - it certainly did to me when seen among the debris and other small species from the net. However, under the microscope (or even a squinted eye) it is quite different and the pointed mouthparts can be seen.
|The least water-boatman Plea minutissima is the sole British species in the family Pleidae.|
That's where I'll leave pond-related matters for today - more soon!
|The water mite Piona coccinea.|
Denton, J. (2007). Water Bugs and Water Beetles of Surrey. SWT, Woking.
Gregory, S. (2009). Woodlice and Waterlice (Isopoda: Oniscidea & Asellota) in Britain and Ireland. NERC/BRC, Wallingford.
Hopkins, C.L. (1961). A key to the water mites (Hydracarina) of the Flatford area. Field Studies 1(3): 45-64.