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The length of the gently incurving spines on abdominal segment 9 are are diagnostic of the Common Darter Larvae
Chris Brooks - www.dragonfly-images.co.uk
My Flickr site - www.flickr.com/photos/ceb1298
Hi Chris, I agree from what you can see in the picture it does look like common darter and most likely is. I didn't call it because from my understanding it is not always possible to differentiate ruddy/common darters on the basis of the relative spine length and S9 are gently incurved in both species? As an aside I have had a look at your website and found your images are quite stunning and there are some helpful tips (especially on dof which I find a bit of a nightmare!)I am already looking forward to next spring (I got my first true macro lens earlier this year a sigma 150mm f2.8) and after a bit of trial and error this year, hope to be taking better pictures in 2012!
Thanks for your kind comments on my website, it has been a labour of love, literally 100's of hours work.
The Sigma 150mm is a great lens it should do you proud.
On the larvae, I'm 90% sure it is a Common Darter but I'll concede it is a close call.
The length of the lateral spines on S9 make it far more likely than not that this is a Common Darter.
Personally I tend to prefer to be able to physically examine larvae/exuviae before saying that I am certain about most species though (in this case there is some overlap in the length of the lateral spines of Common and Ruddy Darter).
PS. I also agree with comments about your website Chris - and I've often referred people to it so they can compare the photos of larvae of different species! A great website, you should be proud of what the hours of work has achieved.
Thanks Roy, that's very pleasing.
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