Anyone following this blog or my tweets of late will know that I have been trying to rear through to emergence, a few Banded Demoiselle nymphs. This project started when I realised that I couldn't find any photos on the internet of this species actually emerging so after doing quite a bit of reading of books and internet sites on this species, I got myself sorted out with the necessary equipment to give me a chance to achieve this rare sight. Like most species, when you start to study them, you learn more and this has proven to be the case on this challenge. Firstly, I wasn't too sure what they eat, but having watched one nymph during the evening catch and rip apart the case of the caddis larvae, I soon realised why the others were not moving after a few days. They had been eaten. They are also opportunists like most predators and have been seen on a couple of occasions, catch and eat their own kind. I was able to grab a few photos to show this a few nights ago.
Banded Demoiselle Nymph eaten its own species
During the day they tend to disappear into the weed but as darkness falls, they move to the surface where during the past week, a few very developed nymphs have started to take in air.
Banded Demoiselle Nymph
I spent a few nights getting up every couple of hours hoping that I would be able to photograph the emergence but a few days has turned into a week now. Not to wake the family up, I have even slept on the sofa a few times and gone outside to check throughout the night. I was really hoping this would only take a few days but its now getting obsessive but I am determined to capture some or all of the emergence, that is, if I can continue to wake up as I am getting ore tired by the day. Last night, I spent a while outside and really thought one was going to try to emerge. It started to climb up the reed but soon decided that the time was not right. I managed to snap a few photos of this.
Banded Demoiselle Nymph thinking about emerging!
I will hopefully be able to bring some photos whenever they emerge and conclude this challenge which I think is my toughest test so far. I did manage to get out for a while today where I visited Westbere Lakes and had a good range of species which I shall post in due coarse. However, here is a taster from today's session of a male and female Banded Demoiselle showing nicely together.
Male and female Banded Demoiselle