Sunday, 5 October 2014

Nethergong Larvae Session in the Sun

Armed with my youngest daughter, we drove down this morning at 8.45am to Nethergong Campsite where we parked up near the pond. I had the previous night cleaned the plastic tank out so it was all shiny and was ready to try to improve on my images from yesterday. Poppy went off with a net in search of dragonfly larvae and was soon calling me over with some smart damselfly larvae which we put in a small tank. We continued on together for a while catching a few Hawker larvae and I then then spent some photographing them while Poppy continued to try to catch everything that moved. Problems I encountered today were scratch marks on the plastic where I had probably cleaned it to death yesterday which caught the reflection of the sun, pretty much ruining my shots. I moved the sticks back from the glass hoping I could focus past them but then the subject was a little too far away and they looked quite dull. In the mean time I photographed a few larvae in clear pots and it was nice to spent some time trying to work out what we had caught. I caught what I believe are striped Emperor Dragonfly larvae, they were only about 10mm in length and certainly looked quite impressive. Please correct me if I am wrong.

'Striped' Emperor Dragonfly Larvae

I also photographed what are possibly Blue tailed Damselfly larvae, again point me in the right direction if I have misidentified them.

Blue tailed Damselfly Larvae

Before we left I got Poppy to briefly hold the stick with an Emperor Dragonfly larvae on or I hope it is anyway while I took a few shots. All larvae were returned unharmed.

Emperor Dragonfly Larvae

Another interesting session with lots more learnt and a few more techniques tried out, some worked and some didn't but its all part of the learning process. I would appreciate any comments on the id of today's photos should they be incorrect. I also noted a few Migrant Hawker on the wing and a few Common Darter. I might try reading up on raising some larvae at home in a tank, that could be interesting I think!


  1. Beautiful series, I love the details!

  2. I reckon you should splash out on a new glass tank Marc. I'll have to take your word on the ID of the Dragon larvae, guess I need to do some swatting up on these things :-)

    1. There's always something to learn, no doubt your pond has a few larvae in it. Get stuck in and have a look.

  3. Marc ,
    I would say your IDs are spot on . I didn't miss the parallel area between the back of the eye and the back of the head on the Emperor this time .
    Probably a 2nd. or 3rd. instar out of a possible 10/12 .
    The dark bands , just above the 'knees' of the BTDamselfly seal the deal on that species .
    Good luck with the other Damselfly species , they are not so obvious to ID .

    1. Thanks Greenie for that, nice to know I can get something right. I do love those striped Emperors, think another session is needed with these. Have you ever reared larvae indoors, easy/hard?

    2. Marc ,
      I have never attempted to rear any larvae at home , but during the rain today Googled ' Rearing dragonfly nymphs ' , and an
      amazing amount of information , both amateur and in controlled conditions , turned up , which could well be of use to you .