by Ian Bushell
Yesterday afternoon, at the bottom set-side in Village Green, I was chatting with an old chap who, as a boy had played in these fields, when I saw a pair of dragonflies flying by.
The pair both settled on the low wooden rail and I managed to get a quick shot of the male: a Common Darter. There was more movement over the tall grass and I realised there were more dragonflies. In the end, I had counted three pairs of Common Darters, all resting on the rail and sunning themselves.
I was surprised to see so many together in October. But it seems that Common Darters, if conditions allow them to bask in the sunlight frequently enough, can go on flying till quite late on the year, even towards December.
All images by Ian Bushell
Will these pairs mate and lay eggs so late in the year?
Yes they will. These pairs will find streams and ponds in the area and the female will lay eggs as she skims over the water either with the male or with the male hovering nearby on guard.
Thank you, Ian. I, too, wondered if there might be a temperature or daylight hours thing going on so that after a certain time they might be incapable of breeding behaviour.
Will the eggs hatch if the water is cold?
As long as there is enough warmth or sunlight for them to ‘charge their batteries’ they will continue to mate and lay eggs. Depending upon the water eggs will either hatch after a few days or more likely next spring, and are then usually in their larval stage for about a year.