jhn7's picture

Common Darter?

Observed: 15th October 2011 By: jhn7
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
jhn7’s reputation in Invertebratesjhn7’s reputation in Invertebratesjhn7’s reputation in Invertebrates
P1170357-1
P1170357-1 1
P1170357-1 1 2
P1170357-1 1 2 3
Description:

Difficult to see because of the shadows but I was surprised to be able to get a photo, usually Dragonflies dart away as soon as they see the camera!

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Refugee's picture

They vary

They also bask on timber in the low sun at this time of year.
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/229265
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/229271
Two on opposite hand rails. If you cast a shadow on the head they are gone!!!
They do vary in color quite a bit.

Refugee

jhn7's picture

Thank you!

The second link is just like the one I saw. Although I often admire dragonflies I've never got a photo before so I'm very pleased to have got an ID. Nice to find out about their behaviour - thank you.

Janet
Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)

Refugee's picture

IDs

The IDs are done in many ways including things like the number and spaces and relative length of tail segments and leg colors and so on. Not so much the red shading. I think they are a little late to go for the winter this year.
I always think the wings attach with bits that look the same as the bit between the roof and blade on a helicopter. They do look good in close up.

Refugee

RoyW's picture

Late season dragonflies.

"I think they are a little late to go for the winter this year."
I'm curious about what you meant by this statement refugee.
There is no evidence to suggest that UK dragonflies go anywhere during the winter, late flying species like the Common Darter and Migrant Hawker will be flying until they are killed off by frost, or other weather conditions, or die from old age. All UK species survive the winter as eggs or larva, emerging in there adult form during the spring or summer (some do arrive as migrants during the summer or autumn, but this is a one way trip).

There is evidence of 'return' migrations in some dragonfly species elsewhere in the world (though this will often be a new generation), and there are some species elsewhere that spend much of their life in the adult form -including two damselfly species in Europe which 'hibernate' during the winter, like some butterfly species.

Refugee's picture

In winter

What i mean is that they disappear and die off.

Refugee

RoyW's picture

Bad times... :o(

Just a way of phrasing it that got me wondering then! :o)

Unfortunately the end of the season isn't too far away for UK based dragonfly watchers - I've got a birdwatching trip to Africa booked in February though which should help break the the 'dead period' for dragonflies! :OD