Insects found in our pond #134998 - Ask Extension


Insects found in our pond #134998

Asked June 17, 2013, 11:38 PM EDT

Hello! My wife and I have a fresh water pond in our back yard and we have several Shubinkin Goldfish. Yesterday I was cleaning out the skimmer and I found these 2 bugs (see photos). Actually one of them either stung or bit my finger. We are concerned that these may be dangerous to our fish, etc. Can you please tell us what they are?! My wife has seen some swimming along the bottom of the pond. Thank you!!!! Troy Schmidt

Lincoln County South Dakota

Expert Response

I believe you have dragonfly nymphs.  They will hatch soon.  Your fish may enjoy them for lunch.  They are beneficial.  Here is some information:.  Most female dragonflies lay their eggs in water or mud. Others deposit their eggs on plant material above or below the surface of the water. The eggs normally are laid in batches of hundreds, and the larvae inside start to develop soon after the eggs are laid. Larvae hatch within 1 to 3 weeks. Larvae also are called nymphs. They live in the water, breathe by oxygen exchange, and move by jet propulsion. This stage usually lasts about 2 years. Larvae shoot out their jaw to capture their food. A developing larva molts or sheds its skin in order to grow. It molts 8 to 12 times before becoming an adult with wings. The process of transforming from larva to adult is called metamorphosis. This change happens around May to July. The nymph climbs out of the water onto a plant. It breaks its casing, and an adult dragonfl y emerges. Before the dragonfly can fl y, it must rest and dry in the sun so that its wings stiffen and harden. After resting, the young adult flies away from the water. The dragonfly’s adult life will last only a few weeks to a month. During this time, the dragonfly will attain full coloration and sexual maturity. It will make its way back to the water when it is ready to fi nd a mate and breed, beginning the cycle again. Dragonflies hunt only on sunny, warm days. Adults use their legs to catch prey in midair. I hope you enjoy them around your yard when they fly. 
Sue White Replied June 18, 2013, 10:49 AM EDT
Thank you very much for getting back to us with the information!!  We enjoy our pond and the dragonfly's are a welcome addition!!
Have a great day!
Troy and Cloie Schmidt
The Question Asker Replied June 19, 2013, 4:57 PM EDT

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