Sunday, 21 June 2015

By the Canal

Today, we went for a walk at Consal Country Park, strolling down by the canal.  Rosie suggested that we go to the dipping pond and see if we could see some damselflies.
This is the Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) which is quite small compared to some species.  It has an unusual undulating flight and rests with its wings partly extended.
At this time of year, they are starting to breed - this pair are in a mating union.  The male grasps the female by the neck and after a while she will extend her abdomen to collect sperm from below the males thorax.  This allows the male to release the female from his grasp.
This is the Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) up to the same business.  Notice that the female is pale brown, almost yellow in colour.
Even the local beetles are busy at this time.  These look like Flower Beetles (Ischnomera cyanea), but there are other species that have this appearance and I do not profess to be a beetle specialist.
We also saw a number of Long Horned Moths (Nemophora degeerella) where the males have antennae that are at least 3 times their body length.
On the way back, we passed over the railway bridge to see a steam train and a canal boat playing chase - the train was winning.

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