Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lestes we forget


Having missed that splendid time in mid-June when just Lestes dryas is flying it was time to re-learn the differences between female sponsa and dryas in the hand. The ovipositor on sponsa (top picture) just reaches the end of S10, on the much more robust dryas below it storms past the end of S10.

Field-tested my new net today and found it to be splendid. Will do a review when I have given it a thorough working over. The sun shone today so we headed out into the field in the afternoon for some dragonfly survey work. Despite the sun things remained on the cool side with the temperatures just breaking 15 degrees!

Hit the pond at Mäsinge first and walked the shallow Equisetum-choked mire, hoping for dryas with the kids chirping behind me - no sign of any Lestes! The nearby pond was better but still low numbers of stuff and nothing unusual, except for the first sponsa of the year. Next we tried the excellent series of small mires at Rammsjöstrand and here the first damselfly we saw was a dryas! We found at least three in the end and plenty of recently emerged sponsa too. A few Aeshna flushed out of the mires too.

Male Lestes dryas, present no difficulties in the hand.

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