Beauties and the beasts

Flanders Moss NNR

4-spot chaser on cottongrass

Lurking in the pools and ditches of Flanders Moss,the larva of dragonflies and damselflies have been munching there way through other underwater creepy crawlies, gradually developing and growing. The conditions are tough at Flanders: not much food and plenty of competition for it, so some can take a few years to reach the stage of taking the next step…….to adulthood.

large red damselfly

At the moment at Flanders the next cohort are making this move. The year’s first dragonflies, the dashing four-spot chaser, and the first damselflies, the striking large red damselflies, are now on the wing, zooming around the reserve dramaticall snatching out of the air other insects. There is an amazing contrast between these chic looking insects and the monster larva from the deep that they hatched from. At this time of year you can find, clinging to the boardwalk edges, bridges, cottongrass stems and any structure close to the water, the skins of the larva (called an exuviae) a dried up reminder of their former underwater life.

large red damselfly larval exuviae
4-spot chaser exuvie
4-spot chaser

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1 Response to Beauties and the beasts

  1. Pingback: Aliens on earth | 2 bogs, a swamp and some islands

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