Has anyone else seen that happen ? I have seen 'gangs' of these flies attack larger insects including butterflies , which have trespassed into the fly's territory , not that they caused any harm to the trespassers . A Harlequin Ladybird was found and in the same area , a Caddis Fly , Phryganea grandis , I believe . With nothing else to see around the pond , I headed for the small sheltered meadow , where I found immature Broad Bodied Chasers on my last visit . That proved to be the start of an 'insectfest' , the main performers being ,
Cardinal Beetle / Pyrochroa coccinea ,
a very worn Peacock , necaring on Bluebells . The new generation are due early August , but the way this year is going , it could be early July , a minimun of a dozen Froghoppers / Cercopis vulnerata ,yet another frustrating pair of butterflies , this time Large Whites , and again it was the female , the one with the spots , that was not prepared to mate ,a male Oedemera nobilis , a Lacewing / Chrysopa septempunctata ,a Red Tipped Flower Beetle / Malachius bipustalatus ,and a hunting spider , disturbed as it was finishing it's lunch .
I stopped at the pond again on my way back to the car , just as the sky was clearing , and that was the cue for the Odonata . From nowhere , two male Broad Bodied Chasers appeared , and immediately started scraping over territory . Two became four , and it was all out war .
When possible , rests were taken , sometimes on the expected emergent vegetation , but also , a first for me , down on the ground , more reminiscent of Black-tailed Skimmers . Things really went crazy when a female appeared and of course all four wanted to mate with her . After much chasing and barging , one of the males was successful , and as is usual with this species , mated with her in mid-air , after which she disappeared for a while . When she returned , she flew low over the surface , choosing where she would lay her eggs , with the male patrolling nearby . When satisfied , she dipped the end of her abdomen below the surface , and released a single sphere shaped egg each time she did so . I watched her laying for several minutes , before without warning , she lift high into the trees overhead , away from the males . Also recorded were 3 Large Red , 2 Blue-tailed and 2 Common Blue Damselflies . Peacocks were the most numerous butterflies recorded with 6 , 1 Otrange Tip , 2 Large White , 3 Green-veined Whites and 2 Small Whites were also recorded .