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back to the carboniferous

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will View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Jul 2013 at 9:24am
emerging from my pond last night, as for the last 350 million years...




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tim hamlett View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tim hamlett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2013 at 2:32pm
fantastic!!!Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2013 at 3:11pm
Thanks Tim - our pond was built only a couple of years ago, but around a dozen of these have emerged this year so far - unfortunately only the exuviae are visible by the time I get up in the morning, so I thought I would go out at midnight last night to see if I could actually catch any emerging, which is why this one is taken at night.  Needless to say, it was long gone by 8am !  I'm hoping to catch a glimpse of them returning to mate and lay eggs in a few weeks, but I assume (being Odonata-ignorant) that they spend a few weeks feeding elsewhere before getting into breeding condition.  Damselflies are all around the pond, though - here's a couple from today, cheers!




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2013 at 4:56pm
A damsel in potential distress, if the dragon finds it...


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2013 at 3:35pm
sure enough, here's a mature female southern hawker egg-laying around the pond margin today:




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2013 at 5:04pm
Funny thing about garden ponds. It seems you often get quite a lot of dragonflies in the first couple of years and they lay eggs, which hatch, but then dragonflies seem to desert the pond in subsequent years. I've known of this from friends with ponds as well as my own. I know they take some time to mature in the pond before emerging but adults seem to only be interested in newish ponds. This is not the case with damsels which have kept up their interest and egg laying.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2013 at 5:41pm
You're right Suzy - I think some species in particular are known to be especially good at colonising and then disappearing, like the Emperor dragonfly, but I am sure this also applies to others to some degree.  We've now had at least 40 southern hawkers leave the pond ( which is around 3m by 3m) - no wonder all the freshwater shrimps and water hog lice have vanished.  I guess like everything with ponds, some kind of balance will eventually be reached, but at the moment it's a kingdom of dragons and damsels!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2013 at 11:27am
We saw the same with our pond Suzy, in our case the most regular visitors to our new pond were wide bodied chasers, for a couple of years or so, then they stopped coming. 

Reading up on the species I did see references to them having a preference for newly established ponds. 

The balance went from lots of dragonfly activity to a more subdued presence of damselflies over the years.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2013 at 12:32pm
Spot on Gemma, broad bodied chasers (Libellua depressa) are generally the first Dragonfly species to colonise a pond.  Apparently they prefer bare mud in which to deposit their eggs (although they have also been known to lay their eggs on brown corduroy trousers!!!).
BLF Dragonscapes Habitats officer
Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
e: peter.hill@arc-trust.org
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