Invertebrates have no backbone or spinal column and many species, some of them quite rare, can be found around the shores of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.
The dominant species of invertebrates found at Te Waihora include sediment-dwelling larvae and pupae of the large lake flies (chironomid) and worms (nematodes). There are huge numbers of adult lake flies during the spring and summer after the larvae emerge, covering the surrounding area in their millions, often in dark columns. They provide an abundant food source for fish and birds. Surface-dwelling species such as caddisflies and snails comprise a much smaller portion of the invertebrate community.
At the bottom of the lake or attached to stems and leaves of larger plants are amphipods (shrimp-like creatures), snails and several other species of aquatic insects.
If you wander the shores of Te Waihora chances are you’ll spot a number of different invertebrates.
Species to spot around the shores of Te Waihora
Getting to know your mokomoko/lizards
There are two types of mokomoko/lizard in Aotearoa New Zealand – skinks and geckos – with five species of mokomoko present on the Te Pātaka a Rākaihautū/Banks Peninsula.