Friday, 2 August 2013

Friday 2nd. August 2013

Firstly , many thanks to Spock for correcting my moth identification from the last post . I did feel confident with Dot Moth , but it turns out to be a close relative , the Cabbage Moth .
I spent yesterday , the hottest day of the year , on the North Kent Marshes at Cliffe , searching for two species of Odonata that have turned up again this year , Scarce Emerald and Southern Emerald . I had hoped that the wind would have dropped some from recent days , but on the flat marshes , with barely anything to act as a windbreak , it was still blowing strongly , with occasional stronger gusts . Given that both are small damselflies that are found amongst the emergent vegetation in the drainage ditches , that wind was the last thing I wanted . The Scarce Emerald was reasonably easy to find , but , given the wind and the temperature , which made them extremely active , getting any shots was obviously going to be difficult , adding the large number of Blue-tailed Damselflies into the equation made things even harder , as all the damselflies seemed in a very argumentative mood giving rise to
continual aerial battles . Patience , and a lot of dumped shots , eventually brought a few results , all specimens found being males . The species is identified mainly by the pruinescence , bluish colouration , covering only half of segment 2 , the same on the Emerald Damselfly covers all of that segment . The Southern Emerald is easier to identify , but harder to find because they are fewer in
number . Once again , only males were found , but at least he was closer and in a more sheltered spot . Common Darters were everywhere , closely followed by their relation , Ruddy Darter . The
male a vivid crimson , and the female , colour-wise , very similar to the Common , but both with
completely black legs , the best way to separate the two species . Some wanted to be photographed
with their mate , whilst they got on with more important business . Other species seen included Emperor , Southern Hawker , Brown Hawker , Black-tailed Skimmer  , a very mature Four-spotted
Chaser (pictured) and the large number of Blue-tailed Damselflies already mentioned .  Speaking of which , a couple of interesting forms were seen during the visit . The first was the form rufescens-
obsoleta , a female that would firstly been of the form rufescens , before becoming this yellowish-brown colouration . A terrible shot , but she was being thrown all over the place by that wind , and
what looks like two males on the right of the stem , but the lower specimen is the female form andromorph , which would have started out as a form violacea , with a violet thorax . Needless to
say , there was no shortage of Marsh Frogs all over the site .

1 comment:

Mike H said...

A great account Greenie, seems very similar day to when I visited. Did manage to see female Scarce but not Southern. Shots posted on the Flickr site.