Common Hawker Aeshna junco
This is a female laying eggs on vegetation, often favouring decaying stems. The yellow wing margin (costa) is a distinguishing feature of this species of dragonfly. The Common Hawker prefers acidic water and is uncommon in Herefordshire.
Larva of the Southern Hawker dragonfly
Larvae live for 2–3 years in the pond while growing to full size. Note the large eyes on head – these are very active predatory insects feeding on tadpoles, newt larvae and other creatures.
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Adults emerge in April/May having overwintered as full-size larvae.
Unlike dragonflies, most species of damselfly fold their wings back when at rest. They are predatory, but tend to take insects from vegetation rather than capturing prey in flight as dragonflies do.
Pyrrhosma nymphula mating. The male has grasped the female by the neck as she lays eggs on the vegetation.
Azure damselflies Coenagrion paella
Seen here the males are on top holding females by the neck as the females lay eggs into the aquatic vegetation
One of the commonest blue damselflies, especially around smaller ponds.
Small red-eyes damselfly Erythromma viridulum
This species has only recently colonised Herefordshire and is still uncommon in the county.
It can often be found perching on floating mats of algae.
Larva of Emerald damselfly Lestes sponsa
These have a one year life-cycle.
The three large appendages at the rear are gills.
Four-spotted chaser dragonfly Libellula quadrimaculata
Most active late spring and summer. Distinct black spots on wings.
Four-spotted chaser Libellula quadrimaculat
Four-spotted chaser seen from above, easily recognised by the two dark spots on the leading edge of each wing – giving this species its name. The male and femaale have the same appearance. They mate on the wing; the female then hovers over the water, dipping the tip of her abdomen into drop her eggs on to vegetation below the surface