What actually lives in garden ponds?

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Caddis fly larvae from a garden pond in Oxford

We know so little about what actually lives in garden ponds, apart from amphibians, that these pictures from Stephen are very interesting.

They are the larvae of a caddis fly, and I’m pretty certain it’s one called the Mottled Sedge.

They make very distinctive cases from leaves, and so like ponds with overhanging trees and shrubs (they are one of the animals that counter the myth that all ponds have to be open).

But what’s really interesting is that they have never (to my knowledge) been recorded in a garden pond before.

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In part this is because, even though garden ponds seem so familiar, nobody has ever looked carefully in them at the animals and plants that they support.

I have caddis flies in my pond (they are not big enough yet to tell the species) – and its one of the things I’m most exited about.

And that’s becasue they are one of the groups of animals that should be present in virtually all good quality ponds – so seeing them in the garden pond is a good sign that our garden ponds can be as rich as those in more natural parts of the landscape.  

For some more nice pictures of this species, including the moth-like adults – have a look at the excellent Biopix site here.

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