A Book About he Upper Esopus Creek t

Fresh Water
A Book About the
Upper Esopus Creek
by Mrs. Babcock's 7th Grade Class
Spring 2013
Made possible by a grant
from Dutchess County Arts Council
Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Black Fly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Dragonfly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Clam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Stonefly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Damselfly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Midge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Mayfly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Dobsonfly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Our book shows freshwater macroinvertebrates
of the Upper Esopus Creek in Boiceville, NY.
It is researched, written, and illustrated by the
students of Alyssa Babcock's 7th-grade biology
classes at Onteora Middle School. Local children's
book illustrator Durga Yael Bernhard worked with
the students to create a class field guide to the
animals studied through direct observation, internet
research, and library research.
This residency was made possible by a grant from
Dutchess County Arts Council. Special thanks to
Eve Madalengoitia.
Black Fly
by Ben Rauschendorfer
Scientific name: Simuliidae
The black fly larvae are a black color. Its abdomen is a little bit fatter
than the rest of its body. They have a brush like mouth part that picks
up small organisms and plants
The black fly has a brush like mouth part to collect food. It collects
small organisms and plants that flow in the stream.
Life cycle
The black fly goes through complete metamorphosis. The eggs are put
in shallow, quickly running water. The larvae connect themselves to
underwater object such as rocks. They canít swim at that stage.
The role in the stream ecosystem
Black flies are omnivores. They eat small organisms and plants. They
eat these organisms by collecting them through their brush like mouth
Interesting facts
Black flies usually come out in big numbers
The larval and pupa stages canít swim
They are attracted to mammals because of the carbon monoxide and
moisture we breathe out
Scientific name: Anisoptera
The dragonfly nymph has large,
compound eyes, and has what looks
like a crusty hump on its back in a
brownish color, perfect for
camouflage, and has no wings yet. It
can grow up to 7-8 cm.
The dragonfly nymph has gills in its
abdomen to help it breath in its nymph
stage. Also because of its color it
blends in very well. They also can
make quick getaways by squirting jets
of water in and out of its abdomen.
Some behaviors that help it survive
are its speed, hunting skills, and
Life cycle
The dragonfly goes through
incomplete metamorphosis. The
dragonfly lives in the stream for most
of its life. It starts as an egg, and then
goes to a nymph, then finally its adult
stage. When the dragonfly lives in the
stream the stages during this time are
the egg and the nymph.
The role in the stream ecosystem The
dragonfly lives in areas where water
is slow-moving or still. They are also
very likely to be found under rocks
and wood. The dragonfly is a
carnivore. It eats insects, small
crustaceans, fish, and sometimes even
each other. The dragonfly is also the
prey. Itís eaten by frogs, other
dragonflies, large insect larva, leeches,
and fish.
Interesting facts
Dragonfly nymphs have gills in their
abdomen. Dragonflies breathe not
only from their abdomen, but also
through their wing pads when they
are adults. Fossil Dragonflies have a
wingspan of up to 2 meters and almost
a meter in length.
by Alyssa Wiswall
by Chris Smith
Scientific name: pelycopoda
Various sizes
The clam is round, brown, hairy, and has lines to show how old it
It has a shell to protect it body.
Life cycle
The larvae develop in the clam and then they are released the settle
in the mud.
There forms are larvae and adult.
The role in the stream ecosystem
It lives in the mud on the bottom of the stream.
It is a filter feeder and it eats plankton.
It is eaten by frogs, catfish, birds, muskrats, carp, and sunfish.
Interesting facts
When it takes in sand it makes pearls.
Clams canít breathe in an air environment.
You can find their ages by counting the rings on its shell.
by George Clapper
Scientific name: plecoptera
The stonefly is 8 to 30
millimeters long. It is small.
It has two antennas on its
head and two spikes on its
back. Its body is divided
in two four parts and it
has six legs.
The Stonefly has many
adaptations to help it survive
in the wild. The first adaptation
is the stoneflyís mouth. The mouth
helps it by stabbing pray. Another
similar adaptation it has is the two
antennas on its back. That helps the
Stonefly sense if predators are coming behind it.
Life cycle
The Stonefly like many other creatures does not go through complete
metamorphosis. There are three stages that it goes through while it lives in the
stream: egg, nymph, and adult.
The role in the stream ecosystem
Stoneflys live in gravel or rocky places in the stream, or in sandy areas.† They
can also be found in cold ponds in higher elevations.† The stonefly can be either
an omnivore or a carnivore. They bite parts off of their prey, and them swallow
them. Almost all kinds of fish eat the stonefly.
Interesting facts
The mayfly is the closest related similar creature to the stonefly.
After hatching, stoneflys can grow into nymphs in 0 degrees, or below.
Stoneflys can live in temporary streams. When the stream dries up, they can
suspend body growth.
here are about 1700 species of stoneflys throughout the world.
by Brooke Smith
Scientific name: Zygoptera
The damselfly is normally blue or green
but there are other uncommon colors.
It has six long, thin legs, three tails,
and sometimes wing pads.
Damselflies usually hold their wings
together over their body which
keeps their wings angled
away from their body at rest.
Life cycle
The Damselfly goes through an
incomplete metamorphosis.
At the nymph stage it lives in the water.
The role in the stream ecosystem
The damselfly eats other insects from the
pond. Fish eat it and they are
usually found at the bottom of
freshwater habitats.
Interesting facts
Some extinct forms are found to be a meter long.
They hold their wings above the body.
Adults can live only a few weeks up to a few months.
Scientific name: chironomiidae
It is 50mm long
It is small and often c-shape it is often called the blood worm
The midge stay together in the larval habitat to survive
They also can survive in very shallow areas
Life cycle
The female midge lays eggs and in 4-6 weeks the eggs hatch
The role in the stream ecosystem
It lives in a shallow low oxygen place so that the predators canít eat
them They are carnivores
They eat scraps of predators
by Cooper Estes
Interesting facts
They are red colored
Able to survive in a wide
habitat like polluted
areas to stagnant
from 2mm to
Scientific name: chironomiidae
Mayflies have plate-like or feathery
gills on sides of lower body,
3 long hair-like tails.
They can grow up to
20 centimeters long.
A Mayflyís coloring
blends in with its
When they are in
danger, they raise
their tails to look
like a scorpion.
Life cycle
Mayflies go
(only 3 steps;
egg, nymph,
and adult). They
spend all of their
egg stage and
part of their nymph
stage in water.
Interesting facts
Mayflies are the only
insect that has a winged
nymph stage. When they are
adults, mayflies have two additional
pairs of transparent wings. Mayflies were
named because of how many mayflies
emerge in May.
The role in the stream ecosystem
Mayflies live in small, still bodies of water off the
tream. It is an herbivore, and eats detritus and algae. The mayfly
by Kelly Teitler
is eaten by frogs, birds, trout, and water beetles.
A fearsome predator, feeding on other bugs,
they are nicknamed "toebiters"
What they look like
Dobsonfly larva are aquatic and can be red-brownish in
color. They look like caterpillars and have gills along
both sides of their abdomens. They have three pairs
of legs on middle section of body with tiny pinchers
at the end of each and a straight, single feathery tail.
Where they live
Dobsonfly larvae can be found on the bottom of clear,
cool slow-flowing freshwater streams. They prefer
to live in the mud or under stones.
What they eat
Dobsonfly larvae are active predators of other aquatic
invertebrates and have strong mandibles (jaws) which
they use to grasp their prey.
Pollution tolerance Sensitive, rating 8
Dobsonfly larvae are sensitive to low levels of oxygen in
the water, preferring cool water as it holds more
oxygen when saturated than warm water.
What ís interesting about the Dobsonfly Larva?
Dobsonfly larvae, when fully grown, make a small
cell or closed hole under a log or stone above
the waterline After a week or so, an adult dobsonfly
comes out of the cocoon. The flies mate,
produce eggs, and die within a few days to a
few weeks.
Dobsonflies, in both the larva and adult stages,
are important food for fish.
Where they fit in
Phylum Arthropoda > Class Insecta > Order
Megaloptera > Family Sialidae
by Adam Carroll
Scientific name: parastacidea
Appearance: 400 mm long. 2 front
legs in the shape of large claws.
Besides their claws, they have 4
sets of walking legs and a long
thick tail. Some may have smooth
shells or others may have spikes.
Body parts help them survive:
their shells help it survive due
to its hardness Behaviors
that help it survive: crayfish can
basically eat anything and
can adapt to any environment
Life cycle
Crayfish go through an incomplete
metamorphosis. Crayfish mothers
lay eggs. Eggs attach to the
by Dora Griffin
swimmerets under the mothers tail.
When the eggs hatch they are
fully developed. They stay with
the mother for a couple of weeks while they adjust to the environment. The new born crayfish
grows to 1 to 2 centimeters long, and then they venture out on their own.
Stages of life: they begin as an egg after they hatch they are already fully formed so they donít
go through the larva stage. Then they become a teenager shortly after hatching. A couple of
weeks later they are an adult and they go and discover new things.
The role in the stream ecosystem
Crayfish live in fresh water streams that donít freeze at the bottom they tend to live under rocks.
What do they eat: crayfish are omnivores that eat living, dead animals, and plants.
What eat crayfish: crayfish are predators to raccoons, bobcats, otters, wading birds, humans,
seagulls, snapping turtle, fish, and opossums
Interesting facts
There are 200 species of crayfish in North America.
They usually eat their old skeleton in order to recover the calcium and phosphates.
They have good eyesight