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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Dragons "n " Spiders

In search of dragonflies ,at least two things are essential location and weather , and as you probably figured out the weather can be a problem, Dragonflies need the warmth of the Sun to enable them to fly and somewhere to come together to breed so a nice pool of clean well vegetated water that is not likely to dry out  is easier to find , but frequent visits are required to find out if Dragonflies have found it suitable to there needs , so another visit to Great Park development site a day of cool temperatures when the sun was not out so only intermittent activity the smaller damselflies will just drop down into the grass and I'm not sure if they just hang around or actively crawl around in search of prey such as Midges , while the larger Dragonflies will fly to nearby trees and either hang facing the direction of the Sun and wait till it warms them again or go underneath leaves for shelter.  

This Four Spot Chaser rested briefly in the grass before flying out of sight 

 Not sure what  this is ,very common here could have come in with imported top soil, Edit ,Cut Leaved Cranesbill
 Small Tortoiseshell
 Red Admiral resting on Stinging Nettle
 Another Four Spot Chaser a plaer individual
 Azure Damselfly

15 Spot Yellow ladybird less than half the size of Seven Spot
 Female Gloworm
 A Common Wasp near its nest burrow all that soil to it's right has been excavated from the hole top of photo

Another photo of the first Four Spot Chaser 
 The following Spiders where a remarkable sight there where over 100 individuals spread over the warm sheltered rocks at the time I had no idea what was going on I thought there where two species involved I figured these where carrying egg sacs and some that did not have them I thought where males but smaller black individuals with club like feelers where gently reaching out till they touched the females a very delicate operation.
Some inquiries revealed these are Pardosa  Wolf Spiders so named as it was thought they hunted in packs. I think these could be Pardosa amentata the females do indeed carry the egg sac around (some species leave them underground and bring them out in the sun for warmth)attached to their spinners and when ready to hatch the female tears open the sac and the young climb onto her back and stay there till there next body change . The male has club like palps that actually carry sperm and the action noted was the male trying to mate with the female via her epigyne located under the front of the body.

I only wish I had a decent video close-up of the interaction still not sure why there was so many around I will check them out again and try and find a female  with the young on her back 
 Apparently some species will prey on the young Spiderlings ,, I wonder what these three are up to !!!
 Male lower he gently reaches out with his palps perhaps to see how receptive the female is
 Most of the females  seemed to be carrying sacs



kirstallcreatures said...

Lovely selection of photos especially those of the Four Spotted Chaser

Northumbrian Birding said...

Thanks ,Dragonflies do have a certain aesthetic appeal.