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We had a short visit recently to one of the waterways that runs through Styx Mill Reserve, in Christchurch. The ~60 ha site has an interesting mix of vegetation types (mainly wetland and riparian areas), and even some locally rare plants. But on this occasion we went to look for arthropods – both in and around the water.
Below are a few of our finds. Our thanks to the folks at NatureWatch for help with the identifications.
The forest shield bug (Oncacontias vittatus):
Another immature shield bug, probably a Rhopalimorpha sp.
The New Zealand pond-skater (Microvelia macgregori):
The larvae of a mosquito/midge (Family Dixidae)
A longjawed orb weaver spider (genus Tetragnatha):
And this is the same spider making itself as thin as possible, presumably for hiding:
There is a guide to many of the species in the reserve on the Landcare website here and the reserve is part of the Styx Project. There is also a comprehensive booklet about Christchurch Waterways available from Environment Canterbury here.