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What the hell is this? Insect?

Discussion in 'Inverts' started by ShadowMac, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I saw this in my tank today and am guessing it or an egg was a hitch hiker on some plants. Looks to me like a larvae/nymph stage to some flying insect. *sorry the pic is sideways.

    Anyone able to identify it or have a better idea of what it is? Is it harmful to fish/plants/shrimp?
     
    #1 ShadowMac, Nov 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2011
  2. instantcrow

    instantcrow Prolific Poster

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    looks like a nymphal insect. black fly kinda. Kinda thing trout love to eat.
    instant
     
  3. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    It will eat little fish and it's probably not the only one in your tank. I'll post more later.
     
  4. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    #4 Tug, Nov 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2010
  5. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tug As Usual Is Right

    Hi,

    It appears to be a dragonfly nymph; order Odonata, suborder Anisoptera hard to tell from the photo could be damselfly, suborder Zygoptera I guess.

    Anisopterans tend to walk and with jet propulsion turn on the speed. :D

    Anisoptera have anal breathing orifice. :p

    Zygoptera nymph swims flexing their abdomen from side to side.

    Zygoptera nymphs breathe via caudal gills (their tails).

    Nymphs are carnivores, Tug is correct, while they tend to prefer invertebrates, they will eat small fish.

    Dragonflys and Damselflys are interesting critters to raise, just not in our aquariums. :gw

    Biollante
     
  6. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    What is the best way to remove them? I cleaned my filter not long ago and didn't see anything.
     
  7. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    And just when I thought I was over the horror.

    I lost a few neon tetras but yea, they loved dining on my RCS.

    I suppose they would be harmless to grab with your fingers but I used a pair of needle-nose pliers. They never made much of an effort to get away. Get a good flashlight and hunt them down. I'm not sure of how long their aquatic larval stage lasts - one or two years? :eek:
     
    #7 Tug, Nov 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2010
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Damn I was hoping it would be short lived and I wouldn't have to go hunting.
     
  9. Hallen

    Hallen Guru Class Expert

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    Look at on the bright side, once you've caught them all you're done. They dont reproduce until their full grown Dragon/Damsel-flys.

    Make sure you wash and inspect your plants before adding them to the tank, will save you the trouble of catching them next time one of the little marauders hitches a ride on a plant.
     
  10. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Upon Further Review

    Hi,

    Upon further review, it is a Dragonfly larva. :gw

    Dragonflies deposit eggs inside plants, some in substrate, though that seems unlikely in an aquarium.

    Dragonflies take 1-4 years to develop, warmer temperatures in our homes and aquariums suggests the one-year range. :)

    Watching Dragonfly nymphs eat is fascinating, :) unless of course they are munching on one of your prized critters. :eek:

    Yes, you can catch them with your hands or nets or apparently needle-nose pliers… :p

    Dragonflies are beneficial as well as interesting critters, so raising them to adult stage and releasing is a good idea. :cool:

    Biollante
     
    #10 Biollante, Nov 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2010
  11. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Have you added any Tiger lotus recently?

    The larval stage molts from six to fifteen times. That's how I noticed something going on in my tank. I found the old skin floating around.
     
  12. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Darn, I saw one about 2 inches with fully developed wings resting/sitting outside on the edge of my 10g tank then I found a dead one which was much smaller with undeveloped wings. This tank has over 100 rcs, neons and harlequins. Fish are OK but, I can't tell if these insects ate some of the rcs. I am hunting them down like Tug suggested. Or better yet, since my wife claims that this is her tank I'll let her do the haunting.
     
  13. Greg_o

    Greg_o Junior Poster

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    Tug why do you ask about red tiger lotus? I have found two nymphs, in two seperate tanks, each housing a tiger lotus..
     
  14. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    It was more of a guess. Mine began to show up shortly after I added the lotus. I was never able to find out what plants ShadowMac had, but it's pretty easy to hide away in a tiger lotus. Shortly after mating, females lay their eggs directly in the water or in another moist habitat. Some species drill holes in plant stems and deposit their eggs inside the moist plant tissue. Most, though, lay their eggs in water or saturated soils. If you want to see a wide variety of ovipositing methods google dragonflies ovipositing.

    Keep a close eye on those tanks. Keep a 1/2" hose on hand to suck any you find into a bucket. Try raising it on blood worms. :D
     
  15. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    A Plea For Predators

    Hi,

    Do not kill Dragonflies, culture Daphnia, D. pulex or D. magna for instance are easy. Ghost shrimp, Palaemonetes paludosus are easy with only a short larval period. There is all kind of stuff then release them as adults, they are good guys.
    “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” The Lord of the Rings Frodo and Gandalf discussing the fate of the betrayer Gollum, Chapter 'The Shadow of the Past'.

    Biollante
     
  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I suspect they came in on some plants, no tiger lotus though. I ended up rescaping the tank to find them all, 4 in total. They had decimated my shrimp population. I didn't have many to start with and have a handful now. They were interesting buggers thats for sure. Not difficult to catch, but hard to find.

    Unfortunately, they did meet an early end as I had no where to put them. It would have been very cool to watch them grow. I love dragonflies as they eat mosquitoes. There are tons of them around here every summer, mosquitoes and dragonflies. Its pretty cool to watch them zipping through the air eating. If i had kids it would have been a great science lesson to watch them develop, but without a reason like that I couldn't justify stacking another tank in my "guestroom" converted to my work room. My fiance probably would have killed me instead of the bugs had I added something else to that room for that reason.
     
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