With a small window of opportunity yesterday, I made a brief visit to the stream at Nethergong where last year I managed to find and collect a few Banded Demoiselle nymphs. Unlike many dipping sessions, the method I find best works for this species is to disturb the weed in the stream with the net and then move the net downstream where anything released will hopefully float into the net. After a few dips, I soon managed to find a 2 Banded Demoiselle nymphs which measured about 20mm in length, quite small but plenty of growing to do. These are easily recognisable by their 'stick insect' like shape and large caudal lamellae. I already had the tank set up at home ready for a photography session so with my job done, I returned home and spent the next hour photographing them in my indoor tank and studying them at close range. Unlike a lot of nymphs which can be hard to photograph due to the speed they can move at, these were a bit easier as they often spent a lot of the time stationary or walking every now and then. When they seemed agitated, they had a habit of raising their abdomen and moving the caudal lamellae, maybe a warning strategy or something but when relaxed, they would lower their abdomen and move slowly. With a number of photos taken, I put them back into the bowl I collected them in and drove back over to Nethergong and released them straight away into the stream where hopefully they can continue growing successfully. I have visited a few sites lately for species but probably need to find a few more areas where I can find those nymphs I have not photographed yet. I still can't find any Southern Hawker nymphs although I have probably not tried that much in areas for them but hope in the next few weeks, I may get lucky and find a few other species to collect, photograph and release. It certainly passes an evening or two by watching and photographing them and hopefully adds a little education to myself and others who view and read about this fascinating part of their lives.
Banded Demoiselle Nymph (20mm)