Where Does Our Pond Wildlife Arrive From?
This is a question I get asked a lot. Many people are often amazed at just how quick wildlife seems to arrive in their pond as if from nowhere. So, just where does it arrive from? All new ponds large or small will start attracting wildlife within days and can become established wildlife havens within 1 year. How some of the wildlife gets there, is quite fascinating.
The Arrival of Fish and Pond Snails
Many species of freshwater Fish and Pond Snails will often lay their eggs on or amongst aquatic pond Weeds. Water Fowl including Ducks, Coots and Moorhens that swim amongst this aquatic vegetation, get Fish and Snail eggs or aquatic Weeds attached to their feathers and feet. When the Water fowl re-locate to a different area of fresh water, the eggs fall off into the water and hatch.
The Arrival of Fresh Water Invertebrates
Established ponds usually have a large diversity of invertebrates which includes Water Skaters, Water Beetles and Water Boatmen. These three species and many others live submerged or on the surface of the water and their arrival to new ponds is most often by air travel. Most submerged aquatic insects have wings and in time of drought, over population or lack of food supply, they will simply re-locate to a new area of fresh water.
The Arrival of Amphibians
Adult Frogs, Toads and Newts have a built in instinct to return to the pond they were born in during the breeding season. If on their seasonal migrations, a few Frogs or Toads find their way to a new pond, this new site might take preference to their old breeding ground. All it takes is one or two happy males to start croaking all day and night and before you know it, there will be plenty more Frogs and Toads joining them. Newts seem to find and often favor new ponds, but are far more likely to stay if you have plenty of submerged pond weeds and oxygenating plants on which they like to lay their eggs. Frogs are also attracted to submerged pond plants, but to attract Toads, it is best to plant lots of marginal plants.
The Arrival of Dragonflies and Damselflies
These stunning flying insects have a built- in instinct that attracts them to ponds that house emergent pond plants. If you plant marginal plants with emergent stems, you will attract adult insects to your pond in which they will lay their eggs. However, they are especially attracted to ponds that are planted up with Pontaderia Cordata and Sagittaria Graminea it seems for some reason. In early summer, the submerged Dragonfly and Damselfly Nymphs climb up out of the water on the emerged stems of marginal plants and pond Rushes where they will hatch and dry their wings in the sun, before taking their first flights.
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