A startling variety of aquatic invertebrates will likely establish themselves in almost any body of standing water, be it a backyard pond or a container of water on a fire escape in the heart of a busy city (the adults of most aquatic insects are winged, and quickly locate new breeding sites). Ranging in size from tiny Daphnia to quite large dragonfly nymphs, all are fine food items for insectivorous herps, and make wonderful aquarium subjects as well.
You can also use an outdoor pond to breed snails, guppies, crayfish and other useful food animals.
Your reptile garden will, in addition, attract numerous terrestrial insects. All are interesting to observe and many can be collected to feed to your collection (a Bug Napper Insect Trap situated near a garden will provide a great nightly haul).
Flowering gardens are also important as feeding sites for pollinating insects, many of which are in serious decline. Over 80% of the world’s plants and 90% of US food crops rely upon insect pollinators.
A Bonus…Observing Garden Visitors
You are sure to come across some interesting finds, as invertebrate diversity, even in temperate areas, is astounding.
An acre of Pennsylvania soil, for example, can host 425 million individual invertebrates (including 2 million tasty earthworms!) and New York State is home to 4,125 species of beetles. Over 11,000 different types of moths may be found in the USA, and new species are constantly being uncovered in the most unlikely of places…be sure to check those captured in your Bug Napper carefully before popping them into a terrarium!
The leaf fall that gathers below your plants and trees will quickly become populated by an unbelievable assortment of millipedes, springtails, sow bugs, beetles and other creatures. Many of these, especially the smaller invertebrates, are vital foods for tiny poison frogs and other small herps. For information on collecting and using this free food source, please see my article on Leaf Litter Invertebrates.
Please write in with your questions and comments. Thanks, until next time, Frank Indiviglio.
Image referenced from Wikipedia and originally posted by Alvesgaspar