Wonderful Wacky Water Critters
The big, wormlike, cranefly larva has tentacles around its back end. It shoves the tentacles through the surface of the water for breathing. The cranefly is very important to life in the river. It chews on large leaves that fall from trees. Since it's a sloppy eater, tiny bits of leaves float away and become dinner for many other insects. The cranefly is very specific about where it lives. Some species will only live in clean-flowing waters, others in wet meadows, and others in mud flats. The adult looks like a gigantic, long-legged mosquito. But it doesn't bite, it doesn't even have a mouth. It flies slowly and awkwardly. Keep an eye out for the delicate adults the next time you're around a light at night.
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