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Spiny Water Flea
Transcript of Spiny Water Flea
Physical Characteristics & Life Cycle
- The spiny water flea is a planktonic crustacean
- On average it is less than 15mm in length
- It has a long abdominal spine with several barbs which protect it from predators
- Its tail spine makes up aproximately 60-70% of its length
- The flea has one large red or black eye
- Has one pair of swimming antenae and four pairs of legs
- The first is uses to catch prey, while their mandibles (commonly referred to as jaws) are used to consume the prey
- One very unique characteristic about the spiny water fleas life cycle is the fact that they can become established in a body of water with only one individual flea
- A female can make eggs and reproduce without mating during the warmer months
- When it is colder they produce male to mate with
- Together they will produce "resting egss" that will lay at the bottom of the lake or pond where they can survive the winter and later hatch
How this benefits the species to take over and live in its new habitat
1a). What species are affected by the Pine Sawfly?
The Pine Sawfly attacks trees of all sizes, but is especially problematic for nursery and plantation trees. In heavy infestations, trees can be completely defoliated in one year. The main host of these flies in Canada are the Eastern White Pine trees.
- Their unique life style only requires one flea to produce offspring meaning they can create more with less, this helps them expand more quickly as a population
- The spiny water flea has defense mechanisms such as the barbs located on its tail spine to protect itself from predators
1b). How does their unique life cycle pose a particular threat to these trees?
- The spiny water flea is native to lakes, rivers and ponds in Northern Europe and Asia
Introduction to Canada
- The flea was accidentally introduced and widely distributed in the Great Lakes are of North America in the 1980's
- In 1982 the crustacean was found in Lake Ontario and soon spread throughout the other four Great Lakes and even some inland lakes within the Midwest
- This included over 60 inland lakes in Ontario alone
- The spiny water flea is an important food source for many differnent species of fish such as; the white perch, yellow perch, walleye, white bass, rainbow smelt and many more
- The flea preys on multiple species of herbivorous zooplankton including those that are a very important food source for many native fish species.
- The fleas could potentially out compete certain species of fish for the zooplankton over time.
With a possibility of having two generations of Sawfly larvae in one year, they have the potential to completely defoliate and kill pine trees.
- Possibly the largest impact the spiny water flea has is on the fishing industry
- The small barbs located on the fleas tail spine can hook on to fishing lines and could eventually form large clumps that can often be very damaging to the reel and rod resulting in loss of revenue to the fisher and the cost to fix his fishing equipment
- In larger cases a group of many of these fleas can cause damage or interfere with large commercial fishing nets resulting in hundreds of dollars in damaged product and equipment
1d). Name and explain any two strategies that have been used by humans to control this infestation
1c). How do the pine sawflies affect Oakville on a local level and Canada at a national level? Explain.
On both local and national levels, Pine Sawflies kill trees, which has a negative effect on the environment and potentially the economy. For jobs involving the collection of wood, the Pine Sawfly is a big problem because it completely infests trees. In ecosystems, there are other species that rely on pine trees. The less pine trees, the less we'll see of other species that depend on them.
- An affect the spiny water flea has that is both social and environmental is that becasue of the large quantities of zooplankton they eat it is possible that they could eliminate a species of zooplankton or many.
- This would result in major changes in the ecosystem of the lake they have been introduced to because zooplankton are the backbone of most aquatic ecosystems.
- Not onl will this affect the environment but it could render these masses of water unuseable over time.
- They could no longer be used for recreation such as fishing, boating and swimming nor could they be used as a fresh water source.
- The species can grow to the point where they become a very large nuisance in small lakes and make it almost impossible to fish enjoyably.
- If you are a government representative like a mayor for the area where an infestation may have or may be happening you would most likely be forced to take action before the citizens of this region would begin to get frustrated with the small flea ruining their lake and activities they could have otherwise done on it.
1. Spray pesticides such as acephate or carabaryl on the needles of the infested pine trees once the larvae have begun gregariously eating.
= area affected by spiny water flea
2. If the eggs of the fly are found, they can be removed and destroyed. Futhermore, smaller infestations can be handled simply by removing and destroying infected branches.
How to control the population
1. Do not move any fish from one lake to another.
2. Always thoroughly wash all fishing equipment as well as your boat before leaving a lake
3. Empty all water from bait buckets on land, not into a different body of water.
4. Dry all boats and equipment for at least 5 days before entering a different body of water
Introduced Pine Sawfly. (n.d.). Retrieved from Maine.gov: http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/IntroducedPineSawfly_new.htm
Invasive Species: Spiney Water Flea. (n.d.). Retrieved from ORWL: http://www.orwl.ca/documents/Conservation/Invasive_Species_Docs/SpinyWaterflea.pdf
Pine Sawfly Fact Sheets. (n.d.). Retrieved from uri.edu: http://www.uri.edu/ce/factsheets/sheets/pinesawfly.html
Spiney and Fishhook Waterfleas. (n.d.). Retrieved from Invading Species.com: http://www.invadingspecies.com/invaders/invertebrates/spiny-and-fishhook-waterflea/
Spiney Water Flea. (n.d.). Retrieved from Isle Royale National Park: http://www.nps.gov/isro/planyourvisit/upload/ISRO-Spiny-Water-Flea.pdf
Spiny Water Flea/Spiny Tailed Water Flea. (n.d.). Retrieved from ERDC: http://el.erdc.usace.army.mil/ansrp/ANSIS/html/bythotrephes_longimanus_spiny_water_flea_spiny_tailed_water_flea.htm