Last Updated: 10/27/12
Aquatic Entomology is fascinating!!
I would love to include drawings or photos of aquatic insects here. The problem is that I am not a good photographer (my camera will not focus closer than 5 feet!), and all of the photos and drawings of insects in books and on the internet are copyrighted. But, you can visit the links to see some drawings of some of these insects and to get information on them. In most cases, I do not cover individual species but only higher levels of classification. I have identified preserved insects before, and even the entomologists have trouble identifying the exact species sometimes. For example, many Americans can identify a mosquito larvae but which of the 120+ North American species is it?
Visit all 5 insect pages!! Missed one? Click on one, two, three, four, and five. That does not include the few non-aquatic insect pages I have which are listed below!
On This Page:
Insect Orders found on the other four insect pages:
Insect Page One:
Insect Page Two:
Insect Page Three:
Other Places with Insect Information on Robyn's Web Pages:
Bees, Hornets, and Wasps
Mealworms - raising them to feed to other animals including frogs by the pond!
Roaches - as pets and feeders
I will eventually (hopefully) be able to divide up these insect pages into their own subdirectory with more detailed sections on each kind of aquatic insect and also more on terrestrial insects.
Having butterflies visit the plants in and around the pond is an added bonus of a water garden. Aquatic plants that butterflies especially like include water lilies, pickerel weed, water celery, and almost any other flowering aquatic plant. Terrestrial plants that butterflies enjoy most in my gardens include milkweed and butterfly bush (the best!). Milkweed has been thought of as a weed but it has beautiful flowers that attract butterflies and bees and provides the only feeding ground for the monarch butterfly caterpillars. Extensive spraying to kill milkweed has led to a drastic drop in monarch populations (from less milkweed and eating sprayed milkweed). Even the most utilitarian, beautiful, and wildlife-beneficial plants are considered weeds simply because most people do not want them. Dandelion is another plant that has gotten a bad reputation. They provide nectar for butterflies and bees and both animals and people can eat the flowers and leaves. Many food products can be made from them. My neighbors' lawns are a brown swath of monotonous grass devoid of all life (from pesticides and herbicides) while our un-poisoned lawns are green and bloom with dandelions, clover, and hundreds of wildflowers covered with wildlife. Please do not use pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides unless absolutely necessary. Especially avoid using them near ponds where they can get in the water and kill life.
The green frogs and bullfrogs in my ponds love to eat butterflies unfortunately for the butterflies!
Check out the North American Butterfly Association to learn more about butterflies including their preferred plants for nectar and caterpillars.
There is a photo of a tiger swallowtail at the bottom of my wildlife page.
Here are two photos of milkweed tussock moth caterpillars, Euchaetes egle,
on milkweed that I took on 7/25/06. They were just too neat looking!
Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars
Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars - close- up
Here is a photo of buck moth caterpillars that stung me. You can read about it in the September 2006 pond newsletter.
Buck moth caterpillars
My mother had me buy some painted lady butterfly caterpillars for release. Here are photos of a
few of the butterflies when released on 6/10/10.
Painted lady butterfly on the ground.
Painted lady butterfly on my mother's hand.
Painted lady butterfly on the butterfly bush flowers.
I was told to remove this tomato hornworm caterpillar from my mother's tomato plant on
Tomato Hornworm - side view.
Tomato Hornworm - top view.
Butterfly - on snowball plant flowers in
my pond on 8/26/12.
These are the books that I own and that I used as references for this web page.
National Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders, Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.
Pond Life: A Guide to Common Plants and Animals of North American Ponds and Lakes by Dr. George K. Reid, Golden Press, 1967. A book chock full of information.
This book I did not use for these pages (yet) but it is a great book to have with photos of many
Dragonflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America by Sidney W. Dunkle, Oxford University Press, 2000.
Insect site - drawings of some aquatic insects and information on them. This is an Australian site but the basic orders of insects occur there as well as in the US. All that is different is the specific species found. Note: As of 1999, this link no longer exists. You can go to their main page but I could not find any pages with pictures or information on insects. I sent an e-mail to them about this, and they have not replied (after a month).
Dragonfly page - based in Texas, with real photos of the species present in that area.
Water Bugs - a water bug page with drawings and information.
Insect drawings - line drawings of various insect larvae including dragonflies, caddisflies, mayflies, mosquitoes, stoneflies, a few beetles, and more.
Aquatic Insect Page - color drawings of many aquatic insects.
Aquatic Insect Page - information
North American Butterfly Association - learn about the butterflies drinking from the lilies (and sometimes feeding the frogs)
Macroinvertebrate Identification for Larvae... - covers eight common aquatic insects including drawings.
A Guide to the Adult Damselflies & Dragonflies of the Ottawa District - includes information on damselflies and dragonflies and their identification.
Microcosmos - a new Dutch site (in English or Dutch via here) on all sorts of small fresh water animals.
The British Dragonfly Society - includes information and an article on digging a pond for dragonflies.
Odonata Information Network - information on dragonflies and damselflies.
California Dragonflies & Damselflies
Texas Odonata Central
A Pond Life Identification Kit - a UK-based web site with microscopic photos of various insects and other microorganisms as well as biological information.
The Buglopedia - a site with all sorts of drawings of aquatic insects and micro-critters. While based in Australia, the drawings are almost the same for most parts of the world.
Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Identification Key
Brent's Insect Journal - very interesting!
Troutnut.com - this site has some amazing photos of almost every aquatic macroinvertebrate you can think of! Not only are there photos of each insect, worm, etc. alone but also of colonies of them underwater!
Insect Identification Links
Bug Guide - this site helps identify all sorts of insects.
Pond Life - includes sections on some aquatic insects
What's That Bug? - this large site has photos of all sorts of insects and arachnids plus they will identify photos if you send them.
Bugs in the Pool part of BugInfo.com about "pests."
AquaticInsect.net - neat photos of aquatic insects!
Here are a few terrestrial (only) insect links for added variety!
Maggot's Insect Forum
Songs of Insects - singing crickets, katydids, and cicadas.
Bug of the Week
On 7/27/07, Lynne sent this photo of the strangest eggs I have ever seen in a pond. They are strange because they form a ring. I am not sure what they are but we have guessed some sort of damselfly but I really do not know. The drawing of what hatched looks like a dragonfly or mayfly larvae or something like that but the bracelet-like eggs are really confusing me. What do you think? Here is the photo and details in her words. If you have ideas, I will contact her.
The Egg Ring Photo
"I found some eggs in a neighbor's pond today (July 25) here in central Vermont. The clear 3/8" diameter strand is configured in a ring about the size of a hair elastic, with hundreds of tiny (salt grain size) green dots in a very orderly spiral pattern along the strand. The ring was attached to a submerged rock and is very elastic...."
"The diameter of the elastic band (which does not break up when handled and will stretch to fit over my hand) is about 1/4" - 3/8" when un-stretched. It is about the size of a hair elastic but thicker. It is hard to tell how big the actual egg white part is because they are arranged in a ring and not separate. And the coil of green dots is very uniform and regular. As you can see, I've scraped the strand off the rock and have it in a jar to see what hatches...."
On 8/9/07, she contacted me again. "I'm including here a drawing of what hatched. I tried to do some research on insect larvae to see what it is but to no could find almost no pictures of larvae that I could use for ID. The larvae are only about 1/8" long and "swim" in the water by wiggling their bodies. I'm sorry for the inadequate drawing but they are very small and I don't have a good scope for viewing them at high power. Any new ideas of what they are?"
Drawing of what hatched
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