From larva to dragonfly
This morning I had a phone call from a friend - they had dragonfly larva hatching on their pond plants. Would I like to go and see them? needless to say I jumped at the chance as I'd never seen this and dashed over to their house with camera at the ready. They actually emerge at night but as they'd promised, there were a number of larva on reeds and one dragonfly emerged. It looks like a Southern Hawker although it's colours were still quite faint. The extra is a close up of a nymph.
They have an amazing life cycle. The adult lays eggs in the water that hatch into larva which live at the bottom of the pond for up to four years predating on other small creatures. It sheds it's skin up to 18 times then climbs up a stem and the dragonfly emerges, hardens and flies away. They only live two months as dragonflies.
I have also backblipped yesterday's photo.