Foldscopy of Damselfly nymph from macrophyte dominated area of Chilika lagoon

Chilika Lagoon supports dense growth of submerged and emergent aquatic plant (macrophyte). These aquatic plants are also sheltering niches to a variety of flies and insects that feeds and rests on these macrophytes. During sampling from Northern part of the Chilika, where luxurious growth of freshwater aquatic weeds such as Eichhornia, Potamogeton and Vallisneria is dominant, water samples were collected on 29/11/2018.  We captured a young damselfly nymph, zygopteran insect of the order odonata which also includes the dragonflies. Live specimen was analyzed through foldscopy. Note the coloured patterns on its slender body with the two eyes distinctly separate from each other. This aquatic insect develops through 10 – 12 immature stages (instars) before emerging out of the water as an adult winged insect. The nymph mostly resides in the calm waters of ponds or lakes, sometimes among vegetation where it feeds on water fleas (cladocerans), water mites, small insect larvae, etc. In return it is eaten by large insect larvae, newts, birds, etc.





Dorsal view of Damselfly nymph
damselfly nymph, captured under foldscope.
patterns of the nymph beautifully captured .



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    What a beautiful observation @gurudeep. It’s so small; I had not appreciated that the first few instars can be so small; they got inside the single field of view.

    Now – regarding the pattern; it’s possible that it’s the tracheal system organized in a zig-zag manner. Which is a big surprise; since tracheal system are often smooth! It’s incredibly beautiful.

    Fantastic work!! See if you can observe and zoom in – to confirm if the pattern is on the surface or inside (and hence tracheal system of a nymph larvae).


  2. Manu Prakash says:

    Also; here is some puzzling anatomy of a dragonfly nymphs –

    Now; I am confused what that pattern actually is.


  3. Gurdeep Rastogi says:

    Hi Manu,

    Thank you for your appreciation. we have uploaded some more still images and videos, hopefully these will be useful for better identification and understanding the patterns.


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