Journal archives for June 2020

June 30, 2020

Freshwater habitats, the flora and fauna?

It seems to me that freshwater habitats are not really being surveyed here in NYC. Plenty of people look at water birds, a few people photograph fish, and some people photograph water plants, as long as they are large enough and picturesque-looking, but beyond that no one seems to be searching on or below the surface of freshwater habitats, including ponds. And this is a shame, because freshwater contains an amazing biodiversity.

All you really need is a pond net (Amazon has a TetraPond telescoping net for about 35 dollars) and one or two white enamel dishes (or similar) to dump the contents into. Add some pond water to the dishes and you should be all set. You probably don't need rubber boots or waders, as long as your pond net is the telescoping kind.

Don't worry if you have no idea what anything is. The great advantage of iNaturalist is that you don't have to know what an organism is, as long as you can get an OK photo of it. Some of the organisms you will see are quite small, so you will need to be able to take decent close-ups.

On the surface of ponds there are duckweeds and water striders; in the water there are water beetles, water snails, copepods, nematodes, and a great variety of pond weeds and green algae. If you are lucky you will find the larvae of dragonflies and damselflies.

And, if you have access to a microscope and put a drop of pond water into a cavity slide, it is a whole other world!

Posted on June 30, 2020 01:09 PM by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 11 observations | 7 comments | Leave a comment