Andrew McCarthy Photography

Macro Photography: Common Darter Dragonflies

A nice early morning session at my garden pond with some emerging common darters.  There has been a massive emergence of this species during summer 2013 as I have counted well over 40 exuvia this season.  This is unusual; whilst this species of dragonfly have bred in the pond in the past, numbers of emerging insects have been low.  

Usually our main species is southern hawker, but there have been very few of these this year.  I am not sure whether this is because of the rather odd late spring (May was very cold here in Devon) or whether it is the late successional nature of my pond, the open water areas of which are now almost completely dominated by water soldier.  

Odonata seem to love this as a plant species on which to emerge; there have been very few inspects choosing to emerge this year on the flag iris or sedges that are in abundance around the pond margins for example.  

It will be interesting to see if the Odonata fauna changes next year as I plan on having a major clearance of open water vegetation this coming autumn.  Should be an interesting experiment.