Before I began to write this I thought, shall I just leave folk guessing what this is? Maybe I will, or … we will see …
It is taken from quite an unusal angle, and I suppose it looks like some kind of unusual golden screw with spikes or hairs radiating outwards. Yet it is a living organism. You cannot see any eyes because they are out of shot, which doesn’t really help much, does it?
There are quite a number of these organisms swimming in my garden pond at the moment forming one of the basis of its ecosystem.
Okay, it is a culicine larva, otherwise known as gnat or mosquito larva. I believe they feed on the algae in the pond. They hang from the surface of the water at an odd angle and breathe oxygen through a tube near the tip of the abdomen. They are amongst the very first creatures to colonise a pond, and they provide food for other life forms to thrive.
Rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. July 2017.