At 8pm last night, an Emperor Dragonfly larva climbed up a stick and the adult started to emerge:
It’s flip-over was very quick. Tiny little wing buds at first:
Notice a second larva starting to ascend the stick at the water level here. In the end, three Emperor emerged last night and five the night before:
By 10.30, when bed was beckoning, this was the state of affairs:
By the morning, all three dragonflies had gone.
Although it was light to start with at 8pm, by bedtime at 10.30 it was obviously completely dark. There was just one of us manning the pumps at the Meadows last night, equipped with a bridge camera that, frustratingly, didn’t seem to be playing ball. The photo below shows the set-up that was cobbled together to get enough light shining to focus the camera and take the photos – one torch lashed to a tripod and another one hand held and then no camera flash was used.
This is happening at the new pond by the hide that was only filled early last year and so these larvae have had one year in the water. Nothing yet though in the wild pond that we estimate had 70 emergences of Emperor and Broad Bodied Chasers last year. This is a bigger pond with greater water volume and so maybe water temperature is less? – just a wild theory. But it can only be a matter of days before it all kicks off there as well…..must remember to keep the torch batteries charged.