Mayflies have two Penises

“Aquatic entomologists place little emphasis on body color when attempting to identify a mayfly species. They collect virgin, male, mayfly spinners, and dissect them to clearly see their penes (mayflies have two). They then count the spines on the penes and compare them to photos in books to identify each species. There is no way to be sure of the species from a female spinner, and you may not be able to tell from a nonvirgin male. No kidding! I couldn’t make this stuff up.”

see ? as seemingly far-fetched, mind-boggling, thought-provoking and mostly giggly because it’s not like these two thingies are going to double their pleasure..,  as much as i like to make up shit i didn’t make up this post’s title either.

seeing how some aquatic bugs breathe through their butts and then all the others do all sorts of other weird things, that one little fact (ok, two) doesn’t help us all that much if we’re trying to match a hatch on the stream but it’s all good to know because well, knowing is better than not knowing, it’s cool and this kind of stuff is just a reminder that fiction usually isn’t so far-fetched after all. the weird and mostly wonderful is all around us and it’s real.

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sometimes it’s a little confusing. can you name these bugs ?

Paul Weamer’s excellent article, Understanding Mayflies on Fly Fisherman -via Erin Block’s super-duper Tippet section at MidCurrent- doesn’t give us all the answers either but goes a long way in getting to know our little friends a little better.

click either pick to access the complete article and please excuse the fact that the main character in the second image isn’t a mayfly but hey, it might turn into one if you stare at it long enough… enjoy !

when fish yell back

by Emily Anthes via Erin Block‘s fantabulous Tippets section at MiddCurrent

fascinating piece on the study of how fish are adjusting to increasing sound pollution levels around the world. basically, just as we do when in a noisy environment, we start to raise our voices. the more ambient noise, the louder we speak until we get to the point of yelling. this is the Lombard Effect.

” We may think of them as silent, but fish make many sounds that are rarely appreciated by the human ear. Clownfish chirp and pop by gnashing their teeth together. Oyster toadfish hum and blare like foghorns by quickly contracting muscles attached to their swim bladders. Croaking gourami make their signature noise by snapping the tendons of their pectoral fins.

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Altogether, more than eight hundred fish species are known to hoot, moan, grunt, groan, thump, bark, or otherwise vocalize. Carol Johnston, an ecologist at Auburn University, is partial to the sounds made by lollipop darters, small fish native to Alabama and Tennessee. “They sound like whales,” she told me. “

and that’s just a scratch of this subject’s surface. after reading a bit we’ll soon realise that this isn’t so fishy-churpy-cheery because its yet another reminder of how we negatively impact the world we live in.
however, many many thanks to Emily for making us aware of this, i’m sure i’m far from the only person to not have considered underwater sound pollution and how it affects its creatures.

 

click the image for the complete article including actual sound recordings of several yelling fish. enjoy !  but quietly…