How to - Wildlife

Nature study

Cybèle Young
Photography by
Cybèle Young

A whimsical look at some of the other life that may be growing in our own backyards


nature-study-moth.jpgGeometer moth (Family: geometridae)
Size: From 2.5 to 3.8 cm
Where: Virginia creeper, grapevine
Why: This moth grew from the familiar green inchworm who, unlike other caterpillars, is missing its middle legs, making it a childhood favourite for 
its method of movement.


Wheel bearer (Phylum: rotifera)
Size: From 0.1 to 0.5 mm
Where: Soil, ponds, lakes, streams
Why: When water film on soil evaporates, the otherwise aquatic rotifer will move across surfaces in inchworm fashion 
(they normally “swim” with crowns of 
cilia waving back and forth). When completely dry it will form a bright pink dehydrated cyst and become dormant until moisture returns.


Water bear (Phylum: tardigrada)
Size: From 0.05 to 1.2 mm
Where: Water on sand, soil, mosses
Why: Known as water bears, or moss piglets for their mammalian movement, tardigrades can also dehydrate, entering 
a state called cryptobiosis and can endure extreme temperatures, waking up as much as 130 years later when better times return. They come in many colours and their eggs are the most beautiful assortment of ornate spherical globes.

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