It's been a couple of months since my last post but I have still been keeping myself quite busy. Firstly, it was a great privilege to be offered the role of taking over as the new County Dragonfly Recorder (CDR) for East and West Kent. This has seen me most evenings verifying over 3000 records, some going back to 1998! Its been very interesting getting to know various recorders names and locations of where Kent's dragonflies and damselflies can be found. Even better to see areas where I didn't necessary know a species could be seen. I have already been in contact with a few people about survey work during the year and hopefully, the role will enable me to venture to areas where I wouldn't normally find myself. As always, the camera will be with me and I shall make sure that I continue to capture the species I encounter. With the weather being nothing short of awful of late, I have only made it out on a few occasions with the net to see what nymphs can be found. Nethergong has seen me netting Emperor, Broad bodied Chaser, Hairy Dragonfly and plenty of Azure and Blue tailed Damselfly nymphs and a trip to Westbere saw a few Red eyed Damselfly nymphs being netted. Fingers crossed that the weather will eventually get better soon and that I can get out a few more times with the net. Back to this weekend where it was not surprising that once again the weather was not good so I decided that I would photograph a few Common Hawker exuviae indoors which were sent to me from a fellow odonata enthusiast, Jon Mee from Wales. This is a species that does not occur in Kent, the nearest colony being to the West at Thursley Common in Surrey. Jon kindly sent me a handful in the post which survived their trip from Wales and it was nice to be able to add this species to my collection. Having had a good look through the 10X hand lens at the features of this species, I then spent a pleasant hour in the warmth photographing the exuviae from a few different angles. these will also be added to my website in due coarse. If the weather warms up and with March on the horizon, we will soon be into the last few weeks until the first Large Red Damselflies emerge. It wont be long!
Showing head and side of throax
Showing quite broad and rectangular Labial Mask
Showing lateral spines on S7 -S9
Showing the tip shape to the Epiproct
Showing the eye and head shape
Common Hawker (Aeshna juncea) exuviae - side view