Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

JOHN CHAPMAN: Monster in my Aquarium (From the Bug Club email list)

I have a monster living in my house. And I've not even dated it. I have a small indoor heated aquarium, which fits within a picture frame and hangs on the wall of my living room. The tank is about 2.5 feet long by about 18 inches high by about 2 or 3 inches deep, and is fully enclosed in a wooden frame. It contains guppies and a lot of weed and snails. A couple of weeks ago I saw what I thought was a spider drowning, thrashing/swimming in the tank.

I tried to fish it out but it buried itself in the gravel and I lost it. A few hours later I was amazed to see it sitting in the weed. Upon closer examination I could see it has six legs, clearly has a head, abdomen and thorax, has a laterally flattened body and its abdomen was pulsating, presumably to facilitate breathing. It was then about 10mm long but is now about 15. No fish seem to be disappearing and I have a number of baby guppies, which are smaller than it is.

But I suspect it is eating snails. I assume it is an insect larva and was probably introduced on the weed, possibly as an egg. But since it is a tropical tank I have no idea whether the weed is of native or foreign origin. Obviously it would be irresponsible to release a non-native insect species into the wild – although at this time of year (end of Nov) it would probably mean instant death even if it is native. I live in North Wales, UK. Has anyone got any idea what it is? What can I do with it?


Naomi said...


I think it's a dragonfly larva. They live underwater for a long time before emerging as adults on land.

Naomi said...

And another helpful site: http://www.dragonflysoc.org.uk/faq.html#lifecycle