Friday, 9 January 2015

Day 69 - Cracking Common Darters

Male Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)
Hey everyone, day 69 and I thought it was time the insects had a turn again and some pretty impressive ones too.

I've got a treat as it's a dragonfly, probably one of  my favourite insects and certainly Dad's. The ones in the pictures here are Common Darters, at least I'm sure the female ones are as I had a bit of help from the British Dragonfly Society (thanks Pam :-) and my research leads me to think the males are too.

So here's a few things I found out about dragonflies and the common darter in particular:

  • Common darters as the name tells you really are widespread in the UK.
  • As you can see in the pictures males are red but turn a bit brown as they get older and the females have pale greens and browns on them.
  • This dragonfly spends a lot of time perched on a spot and will suddenly, as its name suggests, dart off after its prey. Often it will come back to the same perch to eat their meal

Female Common Darter

  •  Adults eat just about anything they can catch and this is mainly flying insects.

  • They tend to be about from the end of June until the end of Autumn, sometimes as late as November if it's warm enough.
  • Dragonflies have 3 stages in their lifecycle - egg > larvae > adult.
  • The female deposits the eggs underwater sometimes attached to plants and sometimes just dropped into the water.
  • In the larvae stage they can moult up to 15 times before being ready to make the transformation into an adult. This can take more than a year.
 Well I hope you enjoyed learning about these guys as much as I did and if you want to know more try these links:

Hope you enjoyed,


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