26th August 2019

Common Darter Dragonfly- as its name indicates, this is the most common Dragonfly in the UK and can be found around almost any sort of body of water, even stagnant pools. Darter’s are a group of Dragonflies which do just that- they hover and then dart forwards to catch their prey mid-flight, before returning to a favourite perch to consume it. If you notice these Dragonflies, look out for their perches, often atop a plant or fence-post, but they can even be on wooden board-walks, heating up in the sun. Darters aren’t as restless flyers as Hawkers. The Common Darter female and juveniles are yellowish-brown bodied but the males are red-bodied. They can be distinguished from the less common Ruddy Darter by the former being smaller and having black legs. The only other thing you might confuse them with in flight is the Large Red Damselfly which has a longer, narrower body and, like all Damselflies, rests with its wings folded, while the Darter typically rests with its wings held forward.

Male Common Darter

Male Common Darter

Female Common Darter

Male Common Darter

Conditions: Too hot and sunny for words! Temperature: Max 27 Min 13C.

6th August 2016

Dragonfly eyes, (here’s a Common Darter at Potteric Carr this week) have recently been shown to contain 11-30 different colour sensitive proteins, (opsins) compared to our 3. They can see ultraviolet light, polarised light and far more intense colour-ranges than we can. With up to 30,000 facets Dragonflies have the largest compact eyes of the insect world and, with eyes wrapped round their heads, can see in all directions at the same time. No wonder their flying displays are so breathtaking. Common Darters may visit your garden pond or garden to hunt- if so, be amazed! Conditions: Wonderful sunny day day south- just right for Catsfield Flower Show. Temperature: Max 21- Min 16C

Common Darter

Common Darter

Common Darter eyes

Common Darter eyes

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