What Is This Creature?

Dooni

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Hello. I have a bladder snail tank and a few days ago I wasn't seeing as many snails running around and I noticed a bunch of empty shells. I was scooping the shells out and I noticed this little guy (pics attached). I have no idea what it is or how it got into my tank or if it was eating my snails. It seems to walk pretty slow, but it swims really fast and in a snake/eel like motion. It uses its front legs like a praying mantis does, but doesn't keep them in the "boxing" stance. Any information would be great, thanks!
 

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GlamCrab

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I know its a nymph of something, but i dont know if its a dragonfly or something else, sorry.
 

JoeCamaro

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Not a Dragonfly nymph, it is a Mayfly nymph. Does not get as big, and eats primarily detritus and algae, unlike the predatory Dragonfly larva. The three filaments identify it as Mayfly, according to the Dragonfly Lady. Follow that link to an explanation of the difference between the two.

And you are not going to have "hundreds" show up in your aquarium. It is uncommon to see even one. They usually come in on plants, or with wild collected live foods such as Daphnia. Large fish do like to eat them, they are often used as Trout bait, and artificial trout lures are made to resemble them, among other insect larvae.
I learned from @chromedome52 that this is a Mayfly nymph. See the quote above.
 

Demeter

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Mayfly nymphs look a fair bit different, they are refereed to wrigglers and often used for fishing. They have these feathery gills running along either side of their body, and this nymph does not have those. That looks like a damselfly judging from the forked tail.
 

SFGiantsGuy

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I had a nano with one of those once, and one day he just...disappeared...guess he finally grew up flew the coop! Shouldn't be a major issue at all.
 
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Dooni

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Thanks guys! I did some looking up after you told me it was a nymph. I think it is a damselfly nymph. The mayfly nymph isn't as slender as this one is. Damselfly nymphs, as well as adults, are predatory, which would explain my snails disappearing.

I already moved my snails since I didn't know why there were so many empty shells, but the baby bladders are so tiny, I couldn't move them.

Thanks so much for the prompt help!
 
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