Saturday, May 22, 2010

Life and Death in the Garden Pond

Larvae of the water beetle (Agabus bipustulatus) eating a tadpole (Rana temporaria)

Following the demise of my pond goldfish during the cold winter the garden pond has become a hive of activity. The fish would normally eat anything that moved including tadpoles and beetles. In their absence the pond has reverted to a more natural habitat and is full of tadpoles, dragonfly and damselfly larvae, and water beetles and their larvae. The water beetle larvae are vicious predators and can easily overpower the tadpoles which are often bigger than them. The tadpoles feed mainly on algae but they will eat any dead animals including their own siblings. They also quite like ham!

In these pictures the larvae of a water beetle (Agabus bipustulatus) is feeding on a tadpole (Rana temporaria). The larvae basically sucks the juices out of its prey.


  1. What amazing captures. Also, for me, so very interesting. I have a pond (without fish) and find watching the occupants fascinating.
    I watched a damselfly lay her eggs yesterday amongst the foliage ( at least I think that is what she was doing). I shall post tomorrow.

    A fascinating post, I learnt something today and for that I am grateful. Enjoy your weekend.

  2. These are excellent pictures. Quite a sight to observe.