Darter Charts

Waldegrave Pond - Priddy Mineries, Somerset, ID 825_8111

Waldegrave Pond – Priddy Mineries, Somerset, ID 825_8111

After the summer the Waldegrave Pond up on the Mendip Hills is very dry. This patch of open water, and a couple of others about the same size, are all that remains.

This is still in jewel in the crown for dragonflies on Mendip. Today my plan was to find some black darters.

Common Darters

Not surprisingly it was common darters that I found first.  A breeze was blowing making it hard to keep the camera focused on darters sitting on reeds so I targeted the large stones lying on the ground.  These retain the heat of the sun and so are a favourite with the dragonflies in the evening.

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) - Waldegrave Pond, Priddy, Somerset, UK. ID 825_8158

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) – Waldegrave Pond, Priddy, Somerset, UK. ID 825_8158

Ruddy Darter

Next up the darter charts is the ruddy darter.  These look almost the same as their common cousins.  A bit more red with completely black legs.

Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) - Waldegrave Pond, Somerset, UK. ID 825_8024

Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) – Waldegrave Pond, Somerset, UK. ID 825_8024

The one above was resting on a old yellow flag seed pod.  The next picture shows the red colour much better.

Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) - Waldegrave Pond, Somerset, UK. ID DSC_2991

Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) – Waldegrave Pond, Somerset, UK. ID DSC_2991

Black Darter Kit

Top do my darter charts is the black darter.  I saw a flew flying around but could not get close enough. Someone showed me a fantastic picture of one they took on their phone!  So the competition was on.

Strangely the first black darter I found was in kit form.  Carefully dismantled by a spider into head, thorax and abdomen.  The spider had made a circular hole in its eye to eat it out.

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) Kit - Waldegrave Pond, Priddy, Somerset, UK. ID 825_8445

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) Kit – Waldegrave Pond, Priddy, Somerset, UK. ID 825_8445

Once assembled the black darters look more alien that earthly.  I could imagine designing a Klingon starship based on the black darter.

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) - Waldegrave Pond, Priddy, Somerset, UK. ID DSCN0977

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) – Waldegrave Pond, Priddy, Somerset, UK. ID DSCN0977

And Finally…

After my recent trip to the Lake District I stumbled across this group of bluff-tip caterpillars.  I would not have spotted them if I had not seen them elsewhere a few weeks ago.

Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala) Caterpillars - Waldegrave Pond, Priddy, Somerset, UK. ID 825_8261

Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala) Caterpillars – Waldegrave Pond, Priddy, Somerset, UK. ID 825_8261

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