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Dragonflies
The Emperor dragonfly The Emperor dragonfly is a very large, impressive dragonfly that is on the wing from June to August. It is a common species of large ponds and lakes, as well as canals and ditches, but is rarely found away from water. The female lays her eggs in floating pondweed. One of the largest dragonfly species in Europe, the Emperor Dragonfly flies up high to look for insect-prey, such as butterflies and chaser dragonflies. It catches its prey in mid-air and may eat it on the wing Found in Central and Southern England and South Wales
The Common darter The Common darter is a small, narrow-bodied dragonfly that is typically on the wing from July to October, but can appear as early as May and still be around in December if its mild. This is a very common dragonfly, breeding in all sorts of waterbodies from ponds and ditches, to rivers and lakes. As their name suggests, Common darters dart forward suddenly from a hovering position to catch their insect-prey. They then take their catch to a favoured perch to eat it In the late summer, Common darters can be found almost everywhere, sat on twigs and fences, and angling their wings towards the sun to warm up
Common Clubtail Previously known as the Club-tailed Dragonfly, the Common clubtail is a medium-sized dragonfly on the wing from early May to July. It is elusive as an adult, mostly seen on emergence from its riverine habitat. Meandering rivers with silty substrates over a rocky bed are favoured by the burrowing larvae. Adults have a tightly synchronised emergence, with dense concentrations being found at favoured sites. Once emerged, adults quickly move away from the river to woodland up to 10km away, where they spend most of their time in the canopy of trees The larvae of the Common clubtail live in the silt and mud of riverbeds for three to five years and have a triangular-shaped head; this makes them streamlined and difficult to dislodge Found in Southern England and Wales, but restricted to a number of rivers, including the Thames, Arun, Wye, Dee, Teifi and Severn
The Golden-ringed dragonfly The Golden-ringed dragonfly is a very large dragonfly that is on the wing from May to September. It is a dragonfly of small, acidic streams in moorland and heathland, and may be found away from its breeding sites. The female of this species is the UK's longest dragonfly because of her long ovipositor. Golden-ringed dragonflies are voracious predators, feeding on large insects, such as damselflies, other dragonflies, wasps, beetles and bumblebees. They are fast, agile and powerful flyers The larvae of the Golden-ringed dragonfly live buried at the bottom of streams, ambushing prey as it passes by. They grow very slowly and may spend as long as five years in the water before they emerge to turn into a dragonfly. Found in West Scotland, Cumbria, Southern England, and Wales.
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The Migrant hawker The Migrant hawker is a medium-sized hawker dragonfly that is on the wing from the end of July through to October, or even November in warm years. It is a very common species and can be found hunting in gardens, grassland and woodland some distance from its breeding ponds. Hawkers are the largest and fastest flying dragonflies; they catch their insect-prey mid-air and can hover or fly backwards During the late summer, large numbers of Migrant hawkers arrive from the continent boosting the resident population Found in Southern and Central England and South Wales.
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