Damselfly sex

The life of an adult azure damselfly (Coenagrion puella) is actually quite short. The latest study suggests that few live little longer than a week but they spend that week having lots of sex.

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Broad bodied chaser

Have you seen the male broad bodied chasers fighting for territory in spectacular aerial dog fights over the pond? There were at least ten of them yesterday, as well as two females laying their eggs in the pond’s shallow margins. If you’re passing, pause and watch; here is a video to help you with identification.

Header picture: broad bodied chaser (Libellula depressa) © Simon Knight.

Picture of the Week

An azure damselfly (Coenagrion puella) on greater bindweed, photographed in the reserve by Ian Bushell, who has a new camera.

How to tell a dragonfly from a damselfly

Dragonflies and damselflies are closely related cousins in the Odonata family but it isn’t difficult to tell them apart.

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Broad bodied chasers

Dragonflies were among the first winged insects to evolve, around 300 million years ago, long before there were dinosaurs. Back then oxygen levels in our atmosphere were much higher than they are now, and dragonflies evolved into giants with wingspans like eagles. Now, the emperor dragonfly, the largest of Britain’s 36 dragonfly species, has a wingspan of a mere 11cm.

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A Walk In The Park

by Ian Bushell

I had a quick wander round the park this afternoon to see what needs doing, to assess the ragwort situation in the fields, and look at the tree damage done by the wind. There were three Roe Deer under the Owl Oak in the Church Lane field across the Lambrok, where they are planning to build houses..

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Common Darter

By Ian Bushell

A male Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) resting on the wooden footbridge over the Lambrok tributary. At the pond, there were six male Common Darters protecting their own patches and I was lucky enough to get a picture of this pair mating.

A mating pair of common darters photographed near the pond by Ian Bushell.
Header picture: common darter, by Ian Bushell.

Ian Bushell has sent in a picture of a pair of large red damselflies photographed in the park today, the penultimate day of National Insect Week.

Identifying dragonflies

Emperor dragonflies (Anax imperator) are the largest of Britain’s Odonata. They are fast, active hunters that rarely come to rest which makes them exceptionally difficult to photograph.

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The day’s wanderings

by Ian Bushell

 There was a Common Blue butterfly just emerged in the old pond at the end of Lambrok Meadow and, after a long chase, I got a picture of a female Southern Hawker (see above) near the carved Wheel close to the Picnic area.

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