Excerpt from The Anatomy, Habits and Psychology of Chironomus Pusio, Meigen (the Early Stages): With Notes on Various Other Invertebrates, Chiefly Chironomidae
In North Devon I examined the Lynn at Water's Meet in June, 1907, but found no larvae in either stream; possibly they may be found further up the stream. They first appear about the end of March. In 1906 I noted them first on the 27th and in 1907 on the 23rd. By the middle of the summer if the weather is hot the cases are present in such quantities that many of the large moss covered boulders appear quite brown as if with a sediment of mud. Towards the autumn they get scarce again, and by the end of October there are none to be found. Heavy rains causing the river to become swollen seem fatal; a few days of this treatment, and they are entirely swept away. Whether the ﬂies survive the winter and lay their eggs in the coming spring, I cannot say; but the fact that ﬂies hatched late in the year do occasionally have the ovaries in a very immature condition 18 suggestive. But this is not absolutely necessary for the propagation of the species, for the larva in secluded spots are capable of resisting very severe weather.
Out of about 20 larvae I put in a dish of circulating water in the autumn of 1906, two at least survived until February 18th, 1907, and during this time a layer of ice formed on the surface more than once. These winter larva are very inactive, scarcely ever moving far out of their tubes to feed, nor do they grow or develop. I may also mention in order to show the hardihood of Chironomid larva, that the water in a small vessel containing some large bloodworms was frozen into a solid block of ice, yet on melting the ice the larva appeared at first none the worse for the severe treatment they had undergone, though they died some days later.
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