Aquatic insect egg masses are beautiful and important indicators of stream health. Graduate student, Samantha Jordt, measures the health of restored vs. natural streams across North Carolina by recording egg mass abundance, and we wanted to share these egg-stream-ly beautiful globs and blobs!
“Aquatic insect eggs and their masses are incredible and diverse structures. They can be a riot of yellow dots cemented to the underside of a rock in a rapidly flowing river, like the psephenid or little white specks, suspended in a gelatinous matrix secured to a rock like the some midges or caddisflies. Other caddisfly masses are pale purple and laid in a purposeful and captivating fanlike pattern attached directly to the rock,” says Jordt. “These egg masses can contain anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred eggs and are the future of a healthy, diverse stream.”
(All descriptions and pictures provided by Samantha)
While the adult forms of aquatic insects are often charismatic (like caddisflies and dragonflies) their egg masses can often present a mystery. Can you help us identify these mystery masses pictured below? Tweet us if so!