Published On: October 24th, 2021Categories: Fishery News, Insects

Larva is the stage of development of an insect between egg and pupa.

Instar is a stage of life of an insect between two periods of moulting.

Nymph is an immature form of an insect. The shedding phases.

Pupa is an insect in the stage of development between larva and imago (aka: Emerger – a word commonly used in fly fishing terms when talking about mayfly emergence).

It’s more involved than that, of course, but there’s a quick little summary. Why are we talking about this? Because we participated in a project and were excited to find some up close.

If you find insects intriguing, you may be interested in the National Water Bug Blitz. This citizen science project is a nationwide waterway monitoring project. By exploring and identifying water bugs we can see how healthy a waterway is. The app provides a way to submit what we find. We encourage everyone with an interest in bugs and water quality to participate if you can.

Water Bug Day

With Anglers Alliance we gathered with John Gooderham and a number of other budding entomologists to run a water bug blitz learning program on the South Esk River. We found up to 20 different organisms over a couple of hours, took photos, entered them into the app. We had quite a bit of fun and learned a lot on the day.

John Gooderham is co-author of The Water Bug Book. We recommend this excellent book – it’s a great entry point to understanding and classifying creatures that live in fresh water.

Below are some cool photos of instars Gary took on the day, a damselfly nymph and a dragon fly nymph.

damsal fly larvae nymph

DAMSELFY LARVA. Image of a damselfly larva (nymph).

mudeye instar, dragon fly larvae

DRAGONFLY LARVA. Image of a very young mudeye instar larva (nymph). The mudeye will become a dragon fly. Notice the caddis larva at the bottom of the image?

participants at the water bug blitz day

Participants at the Anglers Alliance Water Bug Day on the South Esk River.

John Gooderham shows us that looking under rocks is the best place to start.


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