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Archive 2013 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods
  
 
Ecooper
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods




amphipod tiff spotted edit colour_filtered unsharpen_filtered by ernie.cooper, on Flickr

It has been waaaaay too long since I posted any photos. Funny how life can speed-up and suck all your timeóespecially over Christmas holidays when you have kids! Anyhow, Iím back and after a 2-week hiatus I have finally posted some photos on my blog of freshwater amphipods (that I took last summer). The photo above is of a very pretty specimen of Gammarus lacustris; apparently the only species of freshwater gammarid amphipod found in British Columbia.

Whenever (and wherever) I have collected freshwater Gammarus in the past, they have been coloured drab shades of brown and olive green. But as you can see, the specimens I collected from this particular stream showed some real diversity in colouration, including some really pretty specimens with bright red spots on a translucent yellowish body. Others had a single very obvious bright red spot on their side. I still donít know if the spot was on the critterís exoskeleton or was something inside the bodyÖ


amphipod red spot sharpened copyright ernie cooper_filtered by ernie.cooper, on Flickr

I really need to get back to that stream again this summer to collect more of these critters and do a better job of photographing themÖ

Cheers,
EC
www.macrocritters.wordpress.com



Jan 10, 2013 at 09:07 PM
denis55
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods


great shots ernie.
love the first one.



Jan 11, 2013 at 03:03 AM
LordV
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods


Excellent shots esp like #1
Brian v.



Jan 11, 2013 at 07:19 AM
e6filmuser
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods


Very welcome. Let's have some more.

Harold



Jan 11, 2013 at 12:26 PM
michael kilner
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods


excellent work


Jan 11, 2013 at 01:53 PM
 

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Ecooper
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods


Thanks all! I'll be sure to post more photos in the future.

Cheers,
EC
www.macrocritters.wordpress.com



Jan 11, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Ecooper
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods


Hi all, and thank you for the kind words. These amphipods were approx ľĒ (6mm) or less long.

The mystery of the amphipod with the red spot has been solved...it turns out that the red spot was actually an acanthocephalan (thorny-headed or spiny-headed worm) parasite called Polymorphus. Acanthocephalans are parasitic and donít have a digestive tract; they are basically a sack containing reproductive organs and musculature with a spiny proboscis that can stick out of one end. The proboscis is used to stab into and attach to the gut of its host (the animal in which it is living and feeding from). They ingest nutrients directly through their body surface.

The cool thing is how Polymorphus alters the behaviour of the host amphipod. Gammarus lacustris are preyed upon by ducks (amongst other predators). Needless to say they generally try to avoid being eaten and tend to avoid light and stay away from the surface (where ducks are). However, Polymorphus eventually causes its host to becomes attracted by light and swim towards the surface to increase the likelihood of being eaten by a duck. The bird then becomes infected by the parasite...

Below Iíve uploaded a tightly cropped version of the red-spot photo. Now Iím wondering what the little clump is that is growing on the back of the amphipod (in the upper right corner of the photo)?

Cheers,
EC
www.macrocritters.wordpress .com


amphipod red spot very tight crop_filtered by ernie.cooper, on Flickr



Jan 16, 2013 at 08:03 PM
rick2906
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods


I knew that!! :-) thanks for the free lesson!!


Jan 19, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Jonathan Huynh
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods


Very nice.


Jan 20, 2013 at 04:18 AM
kmunroe
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Macro photos of freshwater amphipods


interesting stuff Ernie .. nicely done


Jan 29, 2013 at 09:42 AM





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