Download A walk around the pond: insects in and over the water by Gilbert Waldbauer PDF

By Gilbert Waldbauer

A water strider darts throughout a pond, its ft dimpling the outside rigidity; a tremendous water computer virus dives less than, wearing his mate’s eggs on his again; hidden between plant roots at the silty backside, a dragonfly larva stalks unwary minnows. slightly skimming the outside, within the air above the pond, swarm mayflies with diaphanous wings. Take this stroll round the pond with Gilbert Waldbauer and observe the main amazingly diversified population of the freshwater global. In his hallmark companionable kind, Waldbauer introduces us to the aquatic bugs that experience colonized ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers, specially these in North the United States. alongside the best way we know about the varied varieties those arthropods take, in addition to their striking modes of life—how they've got radiated into each that you can think of area of interest within the water surroundings, and the way they take care of the demanding situations such an atmosphere poses to breathing, imaginative and prescient, thermoregulation, and copy. We come upon the caddis fly larva construction its protecting case and camouflaging it with move detritus; eco-friendly darner dragonflies mating midair in an acrobatic wheel formation; ants that experience tailored to the tiny water setting inside a glass plant; and bugs whose diversifications to the aquatic way of life are furnishing biomaterials engineers with principles for destiny functions in and client items. whereas studying in regards to the evolution, traditional historical past, and ecology of those bugs, readers additionally notice greater than a bit concerning the scientists who examine them. (20060630)

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Consider, for example, a small, delicate, blood-sucking mosquito; an innocuous, longlegged crane fly, sometimes mistaken for a gigantic mosquito; a nectar-drinking drone fly, a convincing mimic of a honey bee; or the large, stout-bodied, blood-sucking horse flies such as the “greenies” that plague bathers on New Jersey beaches. Flies are virtually unique, because they have only front wings. The hind wings have become small, gyroscopic sense organs that stabilize flight by informing the insect if it yaws, pitches, or rolls.

Commenting on a manuscript version of this book, Ann Downer-Hazell of Harvard University Press wrote: “The ‘smoke’ cloud of mosquitoes anecdote is something out of a horror film. But great—I love it. Once my husband and I were sitting inside a cabin in Maine watching a ball of mosquitoes mill around just outside. ’” Mosquitoes are persistent, but not that persistent. Attempts to control salt marsh mosquitoes have included draining marshes and drenching them with insecticides, thereby damaging the marsh ecosystem—no small matter, because salt marshes are winter refuges for huge flocks of migrating ducks and geese and indispensable nurseries for the young of many marine animals, including blue crabs, shrimp, flounder, sea bass, bluefish, and others that are important in the human diet.

In an article by M. D. Murray, there is a photograph of an entomologist stealthily sneaking up behind an elephant seal to look for lice on its hind flippers. If I had seen this photograph before May 22, 1992, I might have done the same thing. On 48 Where They Live that day Steven Bailey and I were birding at Año Nuevo State Park on the Pacific coast near San Jose, California. Very early in the morning we had seen rare black swifts zooming through the air near caves in the sea cliffs, but later in the day we saw several huge male elephant seals that had hauled themselves onto the beach.

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