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Embiidina #3 for ID - Haploembia solieri - female

Embiidina #3 for ID - Haploembia solieri - Female
Webb Canyon, ~2000 ft. elevation, Los Angeles County, California, USA
March 5, 2009
Rescued from the landlord's pool. Surrounding habitat is chaparral and mixed oak woodland.

Moved from Webspinners.

As an aside, I wonder if the chemicals in the pool may actually bleach some of the colors to a very pale shade. Either way, the dark markings are very distinct and contrasty against the pale background. If bleaching is occurring it is a fortunate side effect!

Certainly a possibility...
I have found insects that have been in the pool for awhile that appear to be lighter than typical coloration, so that is definitely worth speculating about. But, I don't really have a sense for what range of color would be considered normal in the case of this species...

I did see this species referred to as "Pink Webspinners"...the males seem to be exceptions - I have noticed that the two males of this species in the guide are both darker with heads that are very dark. I am still amazed at the detail in your webspinner photos. If I ever have access to a pool I am going to try to follow your example and check it for interesting new species regularly!

Good for you... good for them!
Whenever this issue comes up I always try to encourage the idea of installing pool covers, as a large number of animals -- not just arthropods -- die unnecessarily in the pool. BUT, if you do happen to have access to a pool (as I do) where the owner is unwilling to take this step, then yes, I highly recommend that you spend some time fishing out whatever you can find. It definitely leads to some wonderful finds (which are very easily photographed) and you are also doing a great kindness to the hapless stranded critters. :-)

Water is one of the basic necessities of life...
...I find it very sad that pools and so-called water features attract animals with the promise of a great resource only to drown, trap, and or poison them. I had a 2,000 gallon pond for over 10 years. There were no chemicals, and lots of plants, so it was a huge resource for living things, insects included. I had a pool as well, and you are so right about keeping it covered. I'm glad you took the time to remind myself and others about this. I don't know the right words to say - you are really a better spokesperson for those innocent lives, however, as a matter of pride in my pond of all those years I thought I'd link to an image or two from a "living pool".

I couldn't agree more!
As I live in a very arid portion of the southern California foothills, water is an amazing draw for all kinds of life forms. For those that actually manage to get in and out again successfully, I'm sure the pool does serve as a valuable resource for many insects once the seasonal creek has run dry. For instance, I know that countless wasp species visit to obtain the water they need for nest building. But, for those insects that are looking for a more permanent aquatic habitat it can be very sad... The dragonflies that spend hours circling the pool in search of a suitable place (that they'll never find) to set down and lay eggs. The water beetles (backswimmers, water boatmen, and others) that I know will find little food and (I presume) are being poisoned by the excessive chemicals. And worst of all are those critters which cannot fly that are perhaps drawn to the water but are hopelessly incapable of getting out once they've fallen in -- including all manner of rodents, frogs, toads, spiders, etc.

"Living pools" like the great one you had are definitely the way to go if you want a water feature and live in an area with a large amount of wildlife. I hope to have one myself someday!

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