Since last winter, I have been rearing a Brown Hawker nymph which I collected from a local pond. Its been outside in a large tank and I have so far spent many an hour watching this nymph going about its business during the day and at night. Since the beginning of the year it has moulted twice and considerably grown in size and is now fully grown and ready to emerge. I had a few chances with the Emperor Dragonfly nymphs as I had a few but this time, I only have the one chance. I am hoping it emerges at the end of the month or beginning of July and more importantly, I hope I can be there to witness and photograph the spectacle. This species generally emerges at night so I suspect I will spend most nights now checking after dark in case anything happens. With the emergence happening soon, I thought last night I would have one more session with the nymph and take a few photos in my photographic tank. After moving the subject and preparing the scene, I set about trying to capture the detail that we barely see on this species with the eye. I added a fresh Ivy leaf for a background to give me some contrast against the subject and used manual mode, ISO 400, speed set to 250, f16 and in camera flash. After a bit of waiting, the Brown Hawker nymph finally moved into a few good positions and I was able to take a number of pleasing photos. Today, the 3rd June, I made a quick visit to Westbere Lakes after work to see if any Norfolk Hawkers were on the wing yet but despite a good search in not the sunniest of conditions, I failed to find any. Hopefully any day now they will appear. I did see 1 Broad bodied Chaser, 2 Hairy Dragonfly, 1 Scarce Chaser, c50 Banded Demoiselle, 1 Large Red Damselfly and lots of Variable, Azure and Blue tailed Damselfly for compensation.
Brown Hawker Nymph