Wildlife Garden Autumn BioBlitz – Pond Species Review Part 2

In the latest BioBlitz which took place in the Museum’s Wildlife Garden in October, we had a look in the garden’s pond to discover what kind of animals leave there! This is the second part of the blog where we share the results with you.

Continue reading  to find out more about the species found in the pond!

 

Flatworm found in the pond of the museum's Wildlife Garden flatworm - Dugesia sp.
Flatworm found in the Wildlife Garden pond from a previous BioBlitz

Dugesia sp. – flatworm

This worm-like pond creature looks like a slug but it is in fact a flatworm.

It moves by gliding and it is often black or grey. It might not look very impressive at first sight but it has a very impressive characteristic, it is able to replace lost or damaged organ systems (such as the digestive system) and if a small piece is cut from its body it can regrow into a whole new animal!

Pond Snails

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We found quite a few pond snails in the Autumn BioBlitz! Have a go at counting them!

There are mainly two types of pond snails in this tray:

Bithynia tentaculata – common Bithynia, pond snail

This type of pond snail has an oval shaped hard shell. Pond snails have one pair of tentacles and their eyes are located at the end of the tentacles. This is one of the main differences they have with the land snails which have two pairs of tentacles!

They can filter the water in order to get the nutrients they need and they breathe using gills.

Planorbarius corneus – great Ramshorn snail

Another species of pond snail this time with a flat coil shaped hard shell. They can often be found in small weedy ponds and they are often seen grazing the algae on top of rocks.

Erpobdella octoculata – leech

Erpobdella octoculata – leech
Leech found in the pond during the latest BioBlitz

Leeches can often be found in ponds. They have suckers on either end to attach to their host when they are sucking blood and which they also use to move, they move by stretching and looping their bodies. This particular species of leech can be dark brown, yellow or reddish brown with black marks. It has a long and narrow body.

We also found:

Caddis fly case (no occupant) – probably a Limnephilus sp.

A Caddis Fly case
Caddis Fly case found in the Wildlife Garden pond at the museum in one of the previous BioBlitz events

The case of the caddis fly larvae is very impressive looking! It can be made of small stones, sand grains or plant material. They actually look like sticks that crawl and they are very good at protecting the larvae from predators. Unfortunately the larvae had already left the one we found!

 

A big thank you to Zoe Jay Adams, the scientist who run the pond dipping activity and to all the visitors that took part!

This was all from the pond but more blogs will follow with other species found in the Garden during the BioBlitz!