Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Diseased water boatman

I was just enjoying the warm spring sunshine and admiring our pond full of taddies, when I noticed this water boatman.  Before we had the pond rebuilt last year, we had only pond skaters, but almost as soon as the pond was filled, several water boatmen appeared.  I'm glad to see them, even though they do prey on tadpoles and small fish.
This one has a nasty-looking grey fuzz around it, which I assume is a fungal infection, so extensive I can't imagine the insect is long for this world.

I scooped it out and put it in its own bowl in the hope the fungus doesn't spread to the other insects in the pond, but I may be too late already.

I can't find anything about this on the net but am reluctant to constantly pester Jenny's entomologist contacts at the university.

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