MY FAVOURITE CARTOON AS A BOY..

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

DRAGONFLY NYMPH CASE

We've just returned from a flying visit to see my mother and stepfather in High Wycombe, where we had a very relaxed lunch in a new(ish) bar in the centre of town called "The Glasshouse".

Residents of Wycombe (past) might remember a really rough pub (and when I say that, I mean it) called "The Anchor", behind the Swan Theatre. This was re-vamped two and a half years ago, to become this quite swanky bar - an amazing transformation. There are now people going in on their own with broadsheet newspapers and laptops, and quietly drinking a coffee or "mocktail" - if you did that at The Anchor, you'd have left through the window, and you'd never see that laptop again!

Annnywaaaay.... we briefly stopped by at my ma's house, and I found this Dragonfly Nymph Case on one of the reeds in her back garden pond.

I couldn't tell you which species of Dragonfly this belongs to, although I'm sure there are some Odonata experts around who could, including my Uncle Ruary, no doubt...

The Dragonfly nymph lives for most of its life underwater (anything from a number of weeks to a good number of years depending on the species), breathing with internal gills and it is an incredibly voracious predator - eating everything and anything.

Eventually it climbs up a stem, and begins its amazing transformation into the wonderful flying adult so familiar to us, even away from bodies of water, but this adult stage of its life-cycle, (ie the bit we actually see) lasts normally no longer than 2 months, with a maximum adult life span of only about 4 months...

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