I made a visit over to Nethergong Campsite this afternoon where after speaking to the owners I drove around to the small pool which has been very good for dragonflies this year. It was only a few weeks ago that I was here with the family and they were happily pond dipping and catching lots of dragonfly larvae so I thought I would take along the camera gear and see if I could catch any and get a few photos. After setting up I started dipping the net and it wasn't long until I started to catch a few 'Hawker' larvae, their torpedo shape being the main give away. I caught a few of different sizes and after putting them in some clear pots I set about trying to id them and get a few photos. I am quite new to this sort of identification and a lot of Hawker larvae look very similar. I have seen Migrant, Southern, Brown and Emperor around this pool this year so it must be one of them. After looking at a few books and photos I think the shots below may be of a Brown Hawker? One diagnostic feature they show is banding on the legs which this shows quite well in the photos but I would appreciate any help with them and please correct me if I am wrong.
Migrant Hawker Larvae
After taking more shots I looked what else I had in the tank and noticed a smaller, leaner and darker Hawker larvae. Again I took a few shots and believe this may be a Hairy Dragonfly, a species I did not see here this year as my visits didn't start until their season was over. The eyes are considerably smaller, again a feature I believe of Hairy. I took a few shots before putting them back in the tank.
Hairy Dragonfly Larvae
I spent the next hour with my plastic tank and a few larvae in there trying to get some shots of them in the water. A few sticks attracted them and I took a number of shots, some not too bad. I will have to invest in some proper gear for this type of photography but it was fun trying anyway and a good education into trying to id these tricky larvae. It was certainly interesting watching them in the water and noting their behaviour when they met each other sometimes. I shall post some shots in the tank tomorrow. Again if I have not correctly identified them, please feel free to point me in the right direction. Many thanks to Greenie for helping with the id of the Migrant Hawker larvae.