Dragonfly surveys pond

Thanks to Clive Briffet for this Common Darter picture

Common Darter dragonfly

One of the most likely arrivals at a new garden pond is the Common Darter dragonfly.

So thanks to Clive Briffet for this nice photo of a Common Darter dragonfly (to entomologists Sympetrum striolatum) which joined him on a recent survey of Oxfordshire ponds.

In my garden they were laying eggs 3 months after the pond was created.

Some interesting things about Common Darters

Common darters like shallow ponds that dry out in some years; they can often be seen laying eggs in extremely shallow water and sometimes on the dry ground at the edge of the pond that is covered in winter as water levels rise.

Common darter larvae also like very shallow water: in my pond the best places for them are right at the edge, in water no more than a 2 or 3 centimetres (about an inch) deep.

Common darters are some of the last dragonflies on the wing – they were flying around Oxford last weekend.

Common darter larvae like bare sandy and clayey sediments – these are just the conditions that can be provided by new ponds – so don’t worry about bare areas underwater – they’re good for this species.

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