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This is a mature female Black Darter, but it would not be typical ovipositing behaviour for it to be half submerged.
Darters oviposit in flight, either flicking eggs down onto the surface of the water, or by dipping just the tip of the abdomen into the water. They do not enter the water, or dip their abdomen into the water, to lay eggs into plant material in the same way as some other dragonflies.
It may be that this individual was ovipositing and somehow ended up in the water (perhaps knocked into the water?), but it is unlikely to have intended to end up like this.
Thanks for this Roy, I think this insect was possibly close to death, either through naturally having lived its alloted time, or by becoming waterlogged and consequently becoming exhausted. It wasnt very lively.
If it had spent even a short while unable to get out of the water in mid October I would expect that there is a reasonable possibility that it was just too cold to be very active by the time you found it.
Yeah the water temperature may have been an issue for it, I left it out on the vegetation so it may have warmed up again. I dont know what the air temperature was, I'd guess around 17 degrees, I got sunburnt that day (I do burn easily), but it was a remarkably warm day for the time of year and many insects took full advantage of it, plenty of damsels and caddis were on the wing but I cant be certain that they were recently hatched, at the time I thought they were just hatched due to the good weather?
Lat/Lng: 54.987, -6.061
OS grid ref: NW403733