10 June 2009

Dragonfly emergence

Today I went to check on a site where I had previously discovered some interesting sundews - Drosera anglica and Drosera x obovata (the hybrid between D. anglica and the common D. rotundifolia) - see the Drosera pages on our website.

In the stream where most of them were growing, we saw a dragonfly which had just emerged. I noticed it because the wings were held together above the body rather than flat like an aeroplane as is normal.

In the picture below, the discarded nymph skin can be seen to the left of the adult dragonfly.

Dragonfly nymphs are aquatic, and this stage in the life cycle may take several years, while the adult lives for a few months at most.

This dragonfly is a male Common Hawker, though the colouring is very different from that of a mature adult. Thanks to Jeanne Robinson of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum for the identification.

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