Important freshwater inhabitants

Photo: Tiit Hunt
Translatioin: Liis
Waterlouse

Waterlouse; aquatic sowbug   

Harilik vesikakand      Asellus aquaticus
 
A common crustacean, inhabitant of nearly any kind of fresh water bodies and important in the food chain of our fishes. The most suitable living environments are water bodies with mud bottoms, they provide better chances to find shelter between rotting pieces of wood. Tree leaves fallen to the bottom of waters are on the vegetarian waterlice’s food list.
Waterlice cannot swim, they move by crawling with the aid of their feet. For seeing they have compound eyes at the sides of the head. The body of a waterlouse is segmented, supple and up to ten millimetres in length – well visible to the naked eye. As seen from Tiit’s photo every breast segment has a pair of feet attached to it. And “lost“ feet have the power of regeneration.
With some good luck the life span of a waterlouse can be up to two years and they breed the year round.


 

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