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Marsh teems with “small” life

Wetland Explorer

Photo by Pam Martin A male toe-biter, caught at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, carries eggs deposited on its back by a female toe-biter. A member of the giant water bug family, the toe-biter is small compared to other family members that can reach 4 inches in length.

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Kansas Department Wildlife, Parks and Tourism educator
The water of Cheyenne Bottoms is teeming with life, both above and below the water’s surface. Recent rains and average temperatures have provided perfect conditions for a population explosion of an amazing variety of macroinvertebrates – animals without backbones you can see with your eyes.
From water striders skating across the water’s surface to midge bloodworms in the mud, insects rule the water. There are plenty of other interesting invertebrates – crayfish, mussels, snails – to name a few but insects dominate.
As dragonflies zip above the water, sweeping midges and mosquitos from the ...


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