Thursday, 26 May 2016

Slow Larval Flow

Seven Emperor Dragonflies have now emerged from the kitchen garden pond since Tuesday, the pioneers of what should be a more numerous spectacle over the next few days. No casualties to beak or blow yet, but weather conditions are looking unsettled beyond the weekend and so potentially more perilous.

Two pictures below in the interests of observational science rather than the art of photography. The first is from 8pm last night. This larvae had just emerged from the water and looked set to hatch, but this morning there was no empty case (exuvia), so I assume it returned to the water and didn't make the transition. The second image is from 6am this morning, with another larvae having just crawled up an adjacent Iris leaf. I think this is quite possibly the same animal, evidenced by some apparent damage to the tip of the right wing case. Of course, it could be two individuals with similar damage, but if it's good enough for elephant ears and whale fins, then I'll take it for dragonfly identification.

Technically speaking, these are adult dragonflies in larval cases, rather than larvae at this stage, but I will be continuing to flounder with mixed terminology for the next week or so of observation and study. After this, I will hopefully myself have emerged as an expert.

Emperor Dragonfly larvae preparing to hatch (Thursday evening)

Emperor Dragonfly larvae preparing to hatch (Friday morning)

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