Some temporary ponds near Sutton, Otago
- Department of Zoology, University of Otago.
A preliminary survey has been made of some temporary ponds near Sutton, about 30 miles inland from Dunedin. In an area of roughly one square mile, 800 ft. above sea level, 150 ponds have been visited. The area consists of a horizontal surface of schist, with many outcrops and a very thin covering of soil. The ponds are of all sizes, the largest being a salt lake of several acres, and all are very shallow and at times dry completely. A great deal of variety is seen in the vegetation of the ponds according apparently to the depth of the soil, and an attempt is being made to group them into types with a view to comparing their faunae. Some are floored with bare mud and rock, while others, the most permanent, are covered with Potamogeton sp. Of the intermediate types some are densely covered with a growth of Juncus spp., some have a continuous low-growing sheet of Pratia, Selliera, etc., and others are very distinctly zoned from the margin to the centre: tall Juncus spp., the mat of Pratia and Selliera, a region of Eleocharis sp., and perhaps another Juncus sp. or Glyceria in the wettest central area. The faunae have not yet been intensively studied, but the presence of one of the Conchostraca is interesting as this appears to be the first record of a member of this order in New Zealand.