I suppose its in the name!

Over the last few days it seems like whichever piece of water I look at there has been a Common Darter (Sympetrum striatum) showing. I have seen them at various stages of maturity, showing a varied array of colours, from the vibrant red of the mature male, through to the yellow/gold of the immature male and females.

Common Darter

Common Darter

They’re not the biggest or showy dragonfly that I have seen this summer but they are still exciting to watch and enjoyable to photograph. I love their forward facing wing position that I haven’t noticed on any other species other than the Darters. I also like the way they defend their own little patch of the pond/pool.

As you can see from the pictures they seemed to have a preferred perch within their patch that over hangs the water or protrudes out into the pool so they can catch or literally attack anything that moves through their territory.

Once again it begs the question how do dragonflies and damselflies know its time to emerge. Whats is the defining factor that makes it happen. Well I’m now about to sit down and start reading Dragonflies – Behaviour and ecology of Odonata by Philip s. Corbet. It may take some time but hopefully I will get an insight into the behaviour of these amazing insects.

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