Dereliction of predation

Just thinking about mosquito larvae cos I need to email a Plasmodium guy to ask him to be on my academic committee…

Back in Singapore I kept dwarf pufferfish for a while. They’re really cute and funny little fish, smaller than a marble. They’re also quite aggressive going after any live food that piques their interest, like snails. You won’t have a snail problem with these guys.

After some time I noticed the aquarium would have some nasty-looking things in it that looked like the cast-off skins of mosquito pupae appearing in it every day. This was totally baffling because the jerky motions of mosquito larvae would surely have attracted the puffers’ attention. And look as hard as I could, I couldn’t see any larvae either. Although sometimes I could see some clumps of dots near the surface that looked like eggs.

So you all know I’m not a morning person and I have always been lucky to work in places that allow flexible hours (although sometimes frowned on). One day I had to get up early for something or other and I saw some kind of pupa wriggling its way out of the gravel at the bottom of the tank and quickly swimming to the top, where the adult fly began to emerge.

And the fish? THE FREAKING FISH WERE SLEEPING. I’m not kidding. They were lying near the bottom totally unresponsive to any gestures even though they would normally come and beg for food when I walked past the aquarium.

Somehow I end up with pets that are not “morning people” either. (my cat sleeps at the foot of my bed and doesn’t start meowing for breakfast until Mr Potato gets up)

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