swimming creature chadwick lakes

Posts and messages relating the Reptila and Amphibia Class (lizards, newts, frogs, toads...)

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wolf
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swimming creature chadwick lakes

Post by wolf » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:06 pm

I came across this swimming creature at chadwick lakes and was curious ...it cant have been more than an inch long and it was definitely swimming

what sort of creature is it ?
I have no idea myself

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Post by MWP admin » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:28 pm

baby crocodile ! :lol:

I have no idea, but how do newts look like when young? I was hearing a maltese documentary about nature (Grajjiet Ghawdex)and it said that our endemic frog is the only amphibian on the islands!
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Post by sandra » Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:53 pm

That's a weird creature. As far as I know the painted frog is the only amphibian on the islands. The body looks segmented from the photo maybe it is some form of arthropod larval stage. Maybe you might email it to someone for exact identification. More studies needed on valley bottoms.

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Post by wolf » Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:42 pm

Who would you say is the lacal expert Sandra ?
Patrick Schembri perhaps ? Cannot think of anyone else really

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Post by MWP admin » Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:06 pm

I will ask advice from some 'experts' to see the picture and maybe help you. Keith is also keen on these things so I wil lask him too.


A friend at work claims to have seen a lot of them in mud (hama), but he could not recall the proper name.

Wolf: can you give us some more morphological info for example if he had legs and how many. The face looks reptile-like for me!

Sandra: I can confirm that the painted frog is the only amphibian on our islands (up to few years ago at least!)
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Post by sandra » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:19 pm

Yes obviously in the wild! although with all these introduced "pets" you don't know anymore. They are disposed of anywhere. Akthough it may sound cruel, unless kept in captivity, it is better to kill them rather than release into the wild and create havoc of our ecosystems should the animal survive.

Profs Schembri would probably be able to help you, however best we see with what MWP comes up through his connections. Do you have a better closeup? As you would need to give more information on the morpholigical features as MWP mentioned.

Could it be a baby ocellated skink? I'm just guessing here!

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Post by Ke!tH » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:50 pm

99% it is a larva of a water beetle, the ones which grow up to 4 cm in lenght, and are black in colour with a yellow stripe all way round when mature. Unfortunately this creature is diminishing from our islands, cause I can recall more of them myself when I was young. Bdw, Be careful from that larva, cause it really bites :P

Ocellated Skinks are born alive sandra, and are usually red in colour when they are still young, and they never get close to water.

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Post by robcar » Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:05 pm

Boqq

- however from the photo it seems to show external segmentation, and that will rule out the possibility of reptiles or amphibians - there are too little segments for a worm, so it must be some sort of aquatic insect larva

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Post by robcar » Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:12 pm

Yes, Keith - I am sure that you are right - I have frequently observed diving beetles at Chadwick Lakes, but never noticed the larva - I think the mystery has been solved.

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Post by MWP admin » Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:29 pm

I told you guys that Keith is good!

Well done and congratulations (it's not often said here :wink: )

Thanks for sharing wolf, you really put me 'high' with this photo as it really looked some 'new amphibian tadpole' at first glance.
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Post by IL-PINE » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:05 pm

Wow! Congratulations!

Interesting creature - I thought it was an aquatic mollusc! Congrats Ke!th :thumbleft:

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Post by sandra » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:18 pm

Great find so it was not an amphibian or reptile after all, my first guess was closer.

I'll post my unidentified chadwick lakes pics here when I do fieldwork with the kids :D I have observed diving beetle larvae and they are quite big and yes quite aggressive. I have infact encountered a mature one with the yellow stripe. This one looks different
Thanks for the info on the skinks I never encountered them in water myself and all of the ones I encountered were quite large never red. As I said it was a very hazarded guess :lol:

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Post by wolf » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:49 am

prosit Keith ...assumed you cud come to a very educatted guess

by the way dont think the bugger had any legs

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Post by robcar » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:58 am

Yes, it does have 3 pairs of legs just like the adult, which it uses for swimming and crawling on the bottom. Since they are a sort of transparent yellow colour, they would not easily be seen. As Keith rightly said it bites badly- in fact it is a voracious cannibalistic predator, since fellow diving beetle larvae are part of its menu

Note that I have not become a diving beetle expert overnight - but in such cases curiosity simply gets the better of me and I always end up doing some sort of research :study:

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TNX to ALL

Post by MWP admin » Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:02 am

Thanks guys for all the sharing of info. This is exactly the scope of the forum.

Mwp Admini loves ya all!

:love4:
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Post by Ke!tH » Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:40 pm

Well 10x all, but I assure you that i'm no expert at all!! Most of my knowledge is through observations i made in my childhood where i used to spend all of my free time running aroung in fields and vallies with my next door neighbour, Arnold (i think he was mentioned in the selmunett post). We had a great time and i miss those days badly. Unfortunatly i dont have much free time now, not even to visit this forum frequently :(

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Post by wolf » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:40 pm

the way you people are describing how this bug bites it seems I am lucky to be alive !!! does this larva really bite that bad ?

ps anyone has a latin ( i almost typed botanical there.. ) name for it ? wud like to compare images on google

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Post by MWP admin » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:59 pm

For now I can tell you it is a Dipteran Larva ( search for Diptera on the net) 8)

Which part of Chadwick lakes you were exploring? Fiddien part or Mosta side? I am amazed there is still water.

BTW, Dont tell Picus that it bites that much else no more chadwick lakes for me!
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Post by sandra » Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:11 pm

Apparently there are two local diving beetle species listed.. or so I found.

The Large predacious dving beetle Dytiscus circumflexus and the black predacious diving beetle Meladema coriacea . The former has a yellow stripe around the edge of its body. I havent found many images on the web.

http://www.zin.ru/animalia/Coleoptera/eng/reitt040.htm

http://www.passionbassin.com/images/materiel/ins10.jpg

If any of you come up with a good website for diving beetles please let me know.

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Post by jackpot » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:52 pm

wow... very interesting (good that I did not know about the biting monsters when I stepped in the lake accidently few months ago!) :twisted: (I think my English language without dictionary is horrible)- sorry...

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Post by MWP admin » Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:03 pm

The organism in the photo is the larva of Stratiomys longicornis, a member of the family Statiomyidae. The larvae are aquatic and are equipped with a respiratory siphon at their posterior end, with which they break the water surface for air.

with courtesy

Dr. Paul Gatt
'Dipteran Expert'

provided by MaltaWildPlants.com forum
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Post by sandra » Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:20 pm

Wow great MWP. Thats a new one for me.

Wolf.. can I use the pic for educational purposes as I am trying to set up ID sheets for the Chadwick lakes fauna to be used for fieldwork at Chwdwick lakes and I dont have any photos of this organism.

Does any one know if someone has done a key of any of the local aquatic invertebrate groups?

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Post by wolf » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:52 pm

MWP - the little bugger was found in one of the very few remaining pools at chadwick lakes proper ( not fiddien further up ) it is only about ten minutes or so walking from the rabat-mosta road ( the new road where there is an exit not too far from the ghajn tuffieha / mgarr crossroads ....

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Post by wolf » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:55 pm

btw Sandra youre welcome to use the pic no problem

wolf

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Post by robcar » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:57 pm

Tikber u titghallem :!:

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Post by sandra » Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:14 pm

Tnx wolf :cheers:

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