Proof positive has arrived that dragonflies have emerged from my garden pond this year.
Recently emerged southern hawker.
I reported seeing a recently emerged southern hawker (Aeshna cyanea
) in the garden on 4th July
. Only three days later I saw another southern hawker in the garden (see photo).
Again the pale colours showed that this was a recently emerged individual and clearly meant that it could not have been the same animal I saw on the 4th.
Exuvia of a southern hawker on the underside of a leaf of water mint.
A few days later I located two exuviae one on the underside of a water mint leaf (Mentha aquatica
) and another, which I was fortunate to see, floating just under the surface of the pond. Using the key to dragonfly larvae and exuviae in Brooks and Lewington 1997
, I keyed both these out as southern hawker.
I was delighted enough with the dragonflies, but I got another surprise the day after I found the exuviae. Sitting by the pond I noticed some movement in the deeper water and realised that I was watching an adult newt. I didn't see if for long but it was unmistakeable. It could have been either a palmate (Triturus helveticus
) or smooth newt (Triturus vulgaris
). Although I found a newt in the garden in September 2003
, I have never seen one since and never seen one in the pond; so this was a welcome development.