14th September 2014

Took hours to do blog yesterday and today but after fiddling with broadband am hoping it’ll improve! So  a quick look at Dragonflies again. Lynn photographed this wonderful shot of our biggest UK Dragonfly- the Emperor, in Kent recently (they don’t usually come North). Here are the bright blue-bodied male and the greener female mating. Both have black stripes on their body. They fly fairly high, can fly at 18mph, (our fastest Dragonfly)

A paid of Emperor Dragonflies mating

A paid of Emperor Dragonflies mating

A Brown Hawker Dragonfly laying her eggs in the River Don

A Brown Hawker Dragonfly laying her eggs in the River Don

A pair of Red Damselflies, egg-laying after mating.

A pair of Red Damselflies, egg-laying after mating.

and capture a wide range of flying insects on the wing, including smaller Dragonflies! The adults only survive about a month. Mating is in this ‘Wheel Formation’. The male clasps the females thorax and the female loops forward to clasp the male. She then finds water to lay her eggs, and when they hatch they live as larvae under water for about two years. Here is a Brown Darter laying her eggs on the River Don. Damselflies mate in a similar way- I include a photo of a pair, still linked, while the female lays her eggs in a nearby pond. Conditions: a very overcast, mild day with no breath of wind. Temperature: Max 17- Min 12 C.

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