Flowing Water

 Lorain 3 and wellington creek not flowing.

            Almost all the samples taken have been in still waters; temporary pools, ponds, and small lakes. The only exceptions have been Cold Creek and Plum Brook. Below is a look at flowing water. The most surprising finding, at least to me has been the number of rotifer species found. This Phylum is the one I had not expected to find at all.  I could not and still can't understand how the rotifers could maintain a presence in the currents that even these small streams generate. Yet here they are. 
                                                                             Old Woman's Creek at Hoffman's Woods Erie County 10/20/2016

              On the 29th. the creek was not flowing but small pools existed all along the creek bed. Some were two feet deep.

            Below are 4 species of rotifers found in the sample; photo 4 and 5 are of the same animal.
                                       1                                                                                  2                                                                                        3

                                                                                                                    5                                                                                                            6


Cyclopoid copepodscladoceransostracodsharpactacoids


       In this sample only cyclopoids were found. The copepods were the animal I expected to find the most of and while they were plentiful the cladocerans were twice as numerous; another surprise.
                                     7                                                                                         8

         On the cyclopoid below note the epibionts growing.
                                      9                                                                                   10

                                               11                                                                                                               12

                                                 13                                                                                                              14

          Since the water is not flowing year round the clads are able to hatch from egg banks after the stops flowing, I guess this because none of the other pools blow that have still have flowing water do not have the total number of species and animals.  Hopefully when the waters flow again another look can be taken.
                                  15                                                                                     16                                                                                    17
                 The photos 18 and 19 below are either Bunops or Macrothrix; can't tell which.
                                                                                                                                      18                                                                                                         19


       Only 1 ostracod was in the sample, the species is unknown.
                                    20                                                                                    21                                                                                     22

     One mosquito was found in the creek.
                                                                                                                         Sugar Creek at Pine Tree 10/28/2016
      This is a continually flowing stream, even in this mild drought year. 



        One of the strangest things I've ever seen can be found in this stream and lord I wish at the time I had the ability to make a video of it. I'm guessing below is some type of algae. Watching these little sticks is like watching a bunch of children's blocks stack themselves up and then stretch themselves out into a line; they do this over and over again and I tremble to even think the "why" question, it is like a mathematical equation coming to life.
        According to William Davis 23 thru 25 are Bacillaria paxillifer.
                                        23                                                                                  24                                                                                  25


       These ladies really shouldn't be here; I can't conceive of how they beat the current. To find seven species in a 1 liter sample in a quiet pool is interesting to find them in a running creek is beyond odd.
                                        26                                                                                27                                                                                         28
                                    29                                                                                         30                                                                                  31


        Another surprise.

Cyclopoid copepodscladoceransostracodsharpactacoids
10/28/2016Sugar Creek1522121


    Two or three species here #34 looks like Picripleuroxus denticulatus; #35 Chydorus sphaericus. It is probable that #36 to 38 are also P. denticulatus but not sure here.  
                                        34                                                                              35

                                                  36                                                                                 37                                                                                       38

        Cyclopoids and one lone harpacticoid were in the sample. Would be interesting to know whether the harps are found year round.
  Harpacticoid          39                                                                                      40

   Cyclopoids                41                                                                                42                                                                                      43



  Unsure of the number of species - there may be only one. The upper animal in 47 is a cladoceran.

                                  45                                                                                        46                                                                                47


                                                                                                                Bradleystrandesia tincta           48

                                                                                                                                           Annelid and Planarian

49                                                                                          50               

    Below may or may not fall under the platyhelminthes
    about 0.25 mm.

  Mayfly                    52                                                    Midge                        53                                               posterior                    54


                                                                                                                                                          Beaver Creek  11-02-2016

       This sample was taken from the creek itself but from a little channel of water that runs into it. The water was not running at the time but small pools remained.
The water was only about 5 cm. deep.



       At first I was kicking myself for not doing the creek itself having found only a few cyclopoids to begin with but as I came to the bottom of the sample it got more interesting.


Cyclopoid copepodscladoceransostracodsharpactacoids

     Below two cyclopoids
                                          55                                                                                   56                      

       Again the harpacticoids appear whether this is due to temperature or the different environment of flowing water I don't know.

     Two species were found the first (59) was Bradleystrandsia tincta and a beautiful possibly Candona crogmaniana  (60-61)
                                    59                                                                                 60                                                                                      61

  Below a good look at the relative sizes of the above ostracods.

     No Cladocerans were found in the sample.


    Three species in the sample photos 64 and 65 are of the same rotifer.
                                           63                                                                             64                                                                                65

         Testate Amoeba   

                                                                                                            Planarian  and Snail
                                      67                                                                                68                         


           I found myself in England last week and so had to stop at British National History Museum. Wonderful place but the poor crustaceans were delegated to one small three foot wide cabinet in this enormous place. Copepods, perhaps the greatest biomass of life on earth - nada; ostracods, perhaps the oldest animals still kicking around - nada. And one would never know there is such a thing as a rotifer let alone the even lesser known phyla.  I can't help feeling that these omissions give an extraordinarily skewed view of life on earth. 

                                                                                                                                   Vermilion North  11/28/2016
           The joy of serendipity is bumping up against a reality that I have no explanation for. This post should wait in it's proper queue but dash it all I actually think of this stuff going to sleep at night which probably says something Freudian about me so as therapy I vent.

        The photo below is of a hole which may or may not be natural since there is a clay pipe sitting in it. But below it is a steep valley cut by the waters running from this source and another that gathers the rain water. 

      Below the cut shale leading down say 50 feet.


        The water below the little hole is about 5 cm. deep and is almost cave like. So first understand that amphipods are not known to have any eggs that can withstand desiccation and yet here they are and of course the question that springs to mind is how did they get here.
                                     2                                                                                     3                                                                                     4

         After this somehow the strange set of ostracods should be accounted for in a little hole. Have these ladies been kicking around underground since the retreat of the glaciers? 
                                           5                                                                                  6                                                                                     7
                                                                                      8                                                                                       9
                                                  10                                                                                                          11                                                                                                          12

                 And yes the copepods are here. Show me a puddle that last a few weeks and I'll show you a copepod.
                                       13                                                                               14                                                                                  15

          The harpacticoids are even here and one that perhaps is new to this survey.
                                    16                                                                                 17

      Below is a rather unusual harp.   18                                                         19                                                                                       20

     Why not, a little hole on a hill side, if everybody else is here why shouldn't they join the party.
                                         21                                                                                   22                                                                             23


                                                        25                                                                                                         26                                                                                                         27

                                                28                                                                                                            29


   Of course there would be an insect I've never run into before.
                                30                                                                                      31

                                                                                                         32                                                                                                                                                                          33

     One of the midges is found            34

       Finally, lots and lots of, if I'm not mistaken "grubs"
                                    35                                                                                    36                                                                                37

       But let us not forget the snail.

          How to explain such diversity in a little pit and how did these critters get here?


        A lot of flowing waters are being done, not because I've lost interest in the still water pools but rather the stills have not filled. This is shaping up to be an unusual winter; little snow, warm temperatures; how this all plays out will be interesting but there will be no continuity for comparison from one year to the next. 

                                                                                                                                           Fish Creek French Creek Park  11/07/2016


          This is a small stream that flows into French Creek. I have never seen it dry but then I've only been doing this for three years and until recently haven't paid much attention to running water. 


    The shock of finding this phylum in streams still hasn't worn off. Granted many rotifers have feet that can attach to the substrate but given their size and delicates anatomy it is beyond me how these ladies are able to withstand the currents after a heavy rain heck I can even fathom how they can maintain themselves in the mildest of currents.. Also mating seems impossible, even though parthenogenesis is the norm sexual mating does occur but how in these currents is it accomplished. 


Hi Professor - Happy New Years.
       Been having a small discussion on rotifers in running waters. I can't explain how many of the species have been able to exploit this habitat given the currents.
       Two folks hold that the rotifers foot is able to attach itself to the substrate and withstand the current and that the flowing waters actually benefit the rotifers since the food is brought to them rather then their having to swim to forage.
       1) some of these critters appear to be "pelagic" so the only way I can explain their presence is that they are able to scurry into small places the current doesn't reach. or
       2) the freeswimmers are washed away and replaced by new groups when the waters calm down or new eggs in the substrate hatch.
       3) It is hard for me to believe that even the strongest rotifer that can attach itself to the bottom is able to with stand the force of the waters currents in streams after a heavy rain or rapid snow melt. Granted their small size and shape probably mitigates the force of the current but still it seems hard to believe that the little foot can hold against such force.

      So do free swimming rotifers  1) hide from the current? 2) Able to swim against the current and maintain their position? 3) Washed away and replaced by upstream members or substrate eggs?
      4) And is the foot of the benthic rotifers capable of holding fast in the face of sudden explosions of swift currents?

      Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated

Hi John,
All good questions. I suspect that perhaps all of your ideas are true. However, and I don't claim to know much about this, there is a layer called the boundary layer that is close to the bethic surface where velocities are less strong than at the surface. In the link below, there is a graph that shows the boundary layer reaching to 20 mm  thick. A small rotifer close to the lower end of the spectrum on the chart - say 2,000 micrometers (0.002 m), which is still big for a rotifer - might only be exposed to a fraction of the velocity at the surface. So, perhaps sticking around isn't quite so tough so long as they are in this boundary layer.
Happy New Year,


       Four species in the sample.
  Monommata                 1                                                             Euchlanis (triquetra ??)       2                                     Trichotria (tetractis ??)        3

  Notholca (labis  ??)       4

  Chydorus sphaericus      5                                                                                   6                                                                                     7

  Picripleuroxus denticulatus  ???   8                                                               9                                                                                         10

     One species was found in the sample. She looks a lot like Bradleystrandesia tincta but I'm really not sure.
                                           11                                                                            12                                                                                  13


    The cyclopoids and harpacticoids were found.
         The first two rows are the cyclopoids  14                                                15

                                                       16                                                                                                   17
 Below the Harpacticoids.  18                                                                              19

                                    20                                                                                     21

    A mayfly (Ephemeroptera) from the sample  22                                     23


                                                                                                                                                          Dupont 11/28/2016     Erie County

     The small trickle of waters emanates from a batch of  Phragmites, an invasive tall grass. The trickle is only 3 or 4 inches across at the time of this sampling and about 1 to cm. deep. What the red scum is on the water in the Phragmites area is I have no idea.  


Re Dupont Erie County, the trickly from the Phragmites: If the water is coming up from the ground there, it is possible that the red scum is a community of iron oxidizing bacteria. These bacteria use oxygen in the air to oxidize the iron in the water for energy. This is the same as rusting the iron. The rust drops out of solution and the colony takes on a reddish color. Scholarly article





Cyclopoid copepodscladoceransostracodsharpactacoidsamphipods
          Quite a load of cyclopoids in such a small amount of water.
                                             24                                                                          25                                                                                        26

      While only 2 ostracods were found I was surprised to find Candona crogmaniana  was one of them.
 C. crogmaniana           27                                                                              28

  The other ostracod, like the one found in the stream covered above, looks much like Bradleystrandesia tincta but I'm not sure about that. Interesting to note in both cases the lack of color.
                                      29                                                                                    30

      Two found in the sample; the first is a species of ceratopogonidae, the second I have no idea.
 ceratopogonidae      31                                              ????                           32                                                  Close up of 32               33
    Bdelliods were found, whether they are the same species is inknow.
  Bdelliod 1                       34                                                                             35                                                                                        36

                                          37                                                                                                                38
                                                                                                                                                                            Edison Cranberry  Ew 1112-03-2016    Erie County
     The stream may be a tributary leading into Cranberry Creek , the waters are about 2 feet wide and 10 cm. deep.


Cyclopoid copepodscladoceransostracodsharpactacoids

       Always wondrous to find a hydra in such a place.
                                        39                                                                                 40

       This look at flowing water is just beginning so it to early to say with any confidence but the rotifer, Notholca so far appears to be the most common rotifer inhabiting the streams in the area.

   Notholca (labis  ??)      41                                            ????                          42                                                  Trichocerca  ??           43

     Again far and away the most numerous animal in the sample.
                                      44                                                                                 45                                                                                  46

      A small Harpacticoid was also found.
                                                    47                                                                                                          48                                                                                                          49
                                      50                                                                                   51                                

       The first row is a midge larva, Chironomidae. The three rows after that are unknown to me.
                                 52                                                                                          53   

                                                  54                                                                                                             55                                                                                                                56


                                                       58                                                                                                           59

                                                                                                                          Hoffman Old Woman's Creek  12/10/2016

  Old Woman's Creek when sample ws taken

          The same section of the creek on 10/20/2016


 This is not Old Woman"s Creek itself but a small tributary that flow into the creek. this part of the stream is about 30 feet from the creek itself. 


     Before getting into the animals I want to bring up the nonsensical appearance of the algae Synura.  These little balls of algae are in a moving flow of water; carried by the currents downstream. So they start their life somewhere upstream and flow down to Old Woman's Creek Estuary and do whatever is that they do. So somehow the upper waters are seeded with the algae that will mature miles away. I'm having a hard time expressing myself but something seems really weird about this whole arrangement.
There were thousands of these little living stars in the small samples. Watching them it is hard to believe they are not animals. The whole division between plants and animals in my untrained mind seems to breakdown when you actually watch the various members of the algae clan moving about.
     And then there is sex. A whole new means of reproduction enters with these "plants"  Greek would be easier to learn then this Isogamy these ladies practice.
  " Isogamy is a form of sexual reproduction that involves gametes of similar morphology (similar shape and size), differing in general only in allele expression in one or more mating-type regions. ... Fertilization occurs when gametes of two different mating types fuse to form a zygote."


Hoffman ForestCyclopoid copepodscladoceransostracodsharpactacoidsamphipods


      This is the first  stream that a comparison can be made between the stream flowing and still waters. The stream has been done three times. 

                                     60                                                                                      61                                                                            62

       Below are examples of the cyclopoids found in the 10/20/2016 sample when the waters were not flowing.
                                         63                                                                                        64                                                                                65

          While not enough samples have been taken  to really make any statements there is a chance that the epibionts are not as common in flowing water as they are in still water.                                                                                    66                                                                                    67

     Interesting the difference in numbers of harpacticoids found in the different samples; iwhether it is meaningful is unknown. In both cases where the harps were found the waters were flowing; #69 is from the 4/18 sample. 
                                                 68                                                                                                              69

      A really large difference between when the creek was still and when flowing. No clads were found in the 12/10/2016 but 91 in the 1 liter sample when the waters were still on 10/20/2016.
        Again all the clads below are from the  10/20/2016 sample. 
    Chydorus sphaericus                                70                                                                                                    71                       

  Macrothrix                                                   72                                                                                                        73                                                                                                      74

   Picripleuroxus denticulatus      75                                                                                                         76                                                                                                          77

   Simocephalus                      78                                                                                                       79                                                                                                            80

        Two species were flound in the 4/18/2016 sample.

   Chydorus sphaericus                                                ???????

              No ostracods were in the  12/10/2016 sample. Below is the only ostracod found in the 10/20 sample. While the ostracod looks closely like Bradleystrandesia tincta it may easily be another species


         Below is the only time I've run into the species   Ilyocypris gibba   (Identified by Prof. A Smith)
                                                                                                          Ilyocypris gibba

           The upper ostracod is a Candona I'm unsure of the species.


           Below are three other species found and I'm unsure the species of any of them.


                                                                                                                                Isopod and amphipod
     From the current sample.
                                                   81                                                                                                    82

      The two species found in the 12/10/2016 sample   
                                                   72                                                                                                        73

      Below the 3 species found in the 10/20/2016 sample.
                                      74                                                                                       75                                                                                   76

         Below, from a lousy photo and a very limited knowledge of insects I'm guessing a stone fly , Plecoptera,

                                              77                                                                                                                   78                                                                                                        79


                                                                                                                                                                    Black River Brf1  (flowing)  12-14-2016
          The samples were not taken from the river  but one of the tributaries. 

                                               My assistants
          Not much was found in this sample but the sliding algae was in the waters. The algae, Bacillaria paxillifer, has only been found in flowing waters in this survey.
                                        80                                                                                       81

      Four cyclopoids in the sample.

                                                   82                                                                                                           83

        One species of rotifers found.
   Notholca                     84

         Three midges (Chironomidae ) in the sample and one annelid.
                                                 85                                                                                                               86


                                                                                                                                              Powdermaker  Ditch   12/21/2016

      This flowing water is found in a ditch . There 4 or 5 ditches in this city (Avon Lake) and all of them have been labeled creeks; no one,  I guess, in these upscale housing developments wants to live next to a ditch, creek sounds so such much more pristine.  Almost the entire city was a swamp before the ditches drained the area. This makes me wonder if I'm looking at the remnants of the swamp creatures or new animals from the changed landscape. While the water are definitely flowing this sample seems more like a still water sample than a flowing one.


Cyclopoid copepodscladoceransostracodsharpactacoidsamphipodscalanoid copepod

        Two of the animals found were only seen in flowing waters in this ditch though they are found in still waters. 
    Calanoid copepod    87                                              Daphnia                  88

         Cyclopoid copepods were also found in the sample.
                                   89                                                                                   90                                                                                91

         The other cladocerans found:
   Picripleuroxus denticulatus     92                                                                   93                                                                                 94

     This small clad may be new to this survey, I don't what to make of her.
                                     95                                                                                 96                                                                                     97

       Below is another tough one. I can't tell if she is a simocephalus  or perhaps a male daphnia. Not having a "tail"I would guess a simocephalus 

     Also a chydorus sphaericus
                                        99                                                                               100

      Five species found in the ditch.         

                                    101                                               Notholca                  102                                                Synchaetidae           103

                                                                      Platyias                    104                                                                            105

        This first critter I want to say is an Odonata but ??
                                           106                                                                                   107
  ceratopogonidae       108                                                                           109

Another pool that for much of the year is running water is found at Old Woman's Creek. In this case the animals of still pools are not found.
 Old Woman's Creek Hoffman Forest  6/14/2017

        One species ofcladoceran was found and two  ostracod species.  The middle picture is a small Candona which is not a genus associated with flowing water.
 Chyodurus                                                                                                                                          ostracod

         Originally I thought that finding a salamander eft was unusual but Professor Colburn told me several species are common to flowing water.

      The third pool formed after the Charlesmont creek stopped flowing does have quite a few animals associated with still water.

   Charlesmont Creek 9/13/2017    

           Five species of cladocerans were found.

     Chydorus                                                                       Ceriodaphnia                                                               Simocephalus    

     Scapholeberis  (left)                                          Alona ??  (right)                                                                                                        

   Three species of ostracods were found.


    Three species of gastrotriches were found in the sample.  Again from the little I know of gastrotriches it is may be unusual to find them in flowing water
  Chitinodytes or Stylochaeta ????   

    While it is not unusual to find rotifers in flowing water the one below from my limited experience the rotifer below is not a running water species.
  Asplanchna or Asplanchnopus  ?????


      This type of pool is so different from the ordinary pools that dot the woodlands that they deserve a special name.


                                                                                                     Caley Woods Wellington Creek  12/21/2017
     When this creek was sample in Oct it was a series of non-flowing discrete pools. On 12/21 it was flowing again. Here a chance to see the difference between flowing and still waters

     The Creek on Oct 19,2017

                                                                                                                               Cladocerans from the 12/21/2017
        The two rows of photos below appear to both be Chydorus sphaericus, the first row an immature the second mature.
                            354                                                                                         355


                                                       357                                                                                                     358                                                                                                     359

    Below a Macrothrix - Not knowing the habitats of this genus  I shouldn't be surprised to find them in flowing waters yet I am.
                                                   360                                                                                                    361                                                                                                            362

   ???                                   363

    Cladocerans from the same area when the waters were not flowing in October.
   simocephalus        364                                                                                    365                                                                     366

   Simocephalus                                                 367                                                                                                     368                                                                                                         369
    Alona  ?                                                370                                                                                                              371                                                                                                    372

    Ceriodaphnia                                        373                                                                                                           374                                                                                                         375

                                                       376                                                       Leydigia          per Prof. Hann                          377

  ????                                         378                                                                                                       379

     This is a really large Scapholeberis 
                                          380                                                                                                            381

   ????                                     382                                                                                                     383                                                                                                                  384

   Ceriodaphnia                    385
 chydorus sphaericus                                                386                                                                                                     387

  Pseudochydorus    388                                                          389                                                                                       390


                                                                                                                                                 Ostracods    From the 12/21/2017 sample
       I was struck by how much the stream assemblage resembled a temporary pools assemblage. Professor Smith gave a great explanation for this:
                    " Once the creek starts flowing again, for a while it behaves like a rheocrene spring, and these species are often found in such settings. " 
 Candona decora               392                                                                          393

   Candona distincta        394                                                                        395

  Bradleystrandesia       396                                        Bradleystrandesia     397    

   Cypridopsis vidua           398                                                                           399

      From the 10/19/2017.
                                       400                                                                                401

                                                                                                                             Copepods  From the 12/21/2017 sample 
   Cyclopoids             402                                                                             403                                                                                404


          Still trying to nail down the cause of color inside the copepods - is it parasites?

                                                  407                                                                                                    408

  From the 10/19/2017 sample.
                                        409                                                                                                         410

                                                  411                                                                                                         412

      This is an unusual growth of epibionts on this copepod.

                                                 413                                                                                                         414                                                                                                        415

                                                                                                                           Rotifers  from the 12/23/2017 sample.

        From the 10/19/2017 sample.
                                          417                                                                         418                                                                                 419                         


                                                                                                                        Turbelleria from the 12/21/2017 sample.

   None in this sample.

  From the 10/19/2017 sample.
                                     421                                                                                                                    422


   None in the 12/21/2017 sample  - this is a little surprising, as Hydras do well in this area in running water.
  From the 10/21/2017 sample.       424                                                          425

      The hydra below is has an unusual growth on her side. These bumps do not look like male gonads, nor female gonads, I have no idea what they are even whether they are part of the hydra or something growing on the hydra.
                                       426                                                                                               427


   The appearance of what I take to be a stonefly is a sign of running water. These nymphs have only been seen in running water in this survey.
  From the 12/21/2017 sample.
                               428                                                                                 429                                                                                 430

 chironomid    From the 10/19/2017  431                                                 432