Self-Guided Tour Sign #11 - Aquatic Insects
Many of the aquatic insects of Tauhindauli Park lead an interesting life. They spend almost all their lives, sometimes for years, underwater as larvae and nymphs, eating algae off rocks lining the river bottom.
During this underwater stage, they grow and prepare for the next stage of their lives. In this next part of their lives, they grow wings and leave their underwater home in search of mates. It is this stage of their lives that we most often see—flying insects darting above the river water or along the banks. Although the flying insects we see may only live for a few months, a few weeks, or even a few days before they die, this flying stage comes after an extended life underwater!
If they are lucky enough to find a mate, the females lay eggs, sometimes in the water or on the undersides of leaves overhanging the river.
When these eggs hatch, the baby larvae or nymphs live underwater, beginning the cycle all over again. At each part of this cycle, these aquatic insects provide essential food for the many species that depend on them, including fish, birds, and other insects such as dragonflies.