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Dragonfly birth (Sympetrum sanguineum)

I spotted this darter dragonfly on the bank above our pond and thought at first it was devouring a cricket. In fact it had just emerged from its nymph case and was ‘inflating’ its wings ready for its short and vicious life. The nymph had climbed up the elder tree and had attached itself to these flower buds before the beautiful metamorphosis took place. For insect nerds – this a female Sympetrum sanguineum (common English name: the ruddy darter). The male,as the name implies, is bright red. Here’s one of them hunting

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