Friday, 27 April 2012

Pond Life

Cyclops is the commonest copepod in our pond.  It is around in vast numbers at present.  This individual is about 0.3mm long and it shows the forward feet (looking like antennae) that give it its name Copepod="oar feet"  The name Cyclops comes from the single photoreceptor eye in the head.
This small crustacean is also a Copepod, but I do not know the form.  It is larger than Cyclops at about 0.4mm, but not as fast in its movements.
The pond snails, Lymnaea peregra, are laying eggs in large numbers.  They are laid in short strips of mucus in water vegetation - or in this case, on the side of a small tank.
As the snail eggs develop, the shells start to form and grow.
The initial shell spiral starts off small and by the time the snails hatch they have several shell bands already hardened.  Many things eat snail eggs in the pond, so the strategy is to lay thousands and hope that some mature.
My greenhouse is now reconditioned and the first plants are in.  It is such a clean and tidy place this year.  I have a potting bench for the first time and all of the plants will be grown in pots placed in grit trays to allow watering from the bottom, upwards.

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