Location: East Central Texas
April 24, 2015 11:57 pm
I need help identifying this organism. This image is under 40x magnification under a microscope. It was pulled from a pond in East Central Texas, and appeared to be sucking water through its anus as a way over breathing in the water.
This appears to be a very young, perhaps recently hatched, Dragonfly Naiad. There are many types of flying insects like Dragonflies, Damselflies, Stoneflies and Mayflies that have aquatic nymphs that are known as Naiads. The water action that you observed is nicely explained by Charles Hogue in his excellent book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin: “Human beings are latecomers in the use of jet propulsion. by porcibly expelling water from its rectum, the dragonfly nymph can drive its body forward through the water at great speed. This is an emergency method of locomotion that is employed principally to evade enemies.”