Saturday 29 August 2015

A Blue Scarlet Darter.

The male Scarlet Darter or Broad Scarlet is a striking sight with it's magnificent bright scarlet body and eyes.In contrast the immature male, as well as the female are yellow-brown.As the females mature they become olive in colour,so I was confused to see an all blue darter displaying a resemblance to this species when on the holiday on the Greek Island of Thassos recently.So confused in fact that I posted the following photos of this individual on an established dragonfly website to get a positive ID from those in the know.I was not disappointed as several diagnostic features were explained to me which confirmed that this very mature female darter was a blue Scarlet Darter. 
However I should not be surprised as many dragonfly species display this pruinosity or 'bloom' mainly as a blue colouring , although it can take on other colours.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

A Regular at Church.

This small Greek church is snuggled in a depression of ground in the holiday resort of Skala Panagia on the Greek Island of Thassos.In this shady spot next to the church is a small damp and wet area mainly covered in reeds, and home to several species of dragonfly. One of those species seems to be the Eastern Willow Spreadwing or Eastern Willow Emerald Damselfly.It is mainly confined to Greece and the Balkans whereas its western relative the Willow Emerald Damselfly is resident throughout the rest of Europe. 

Back to Thassos.

 Three years ago we made a second visit to the Greek Island of Thassos and found that tourist development had arrived at the spectacular beach which we had first seen almost deserted twenty years previously.So I hoped that the chances for the remaining wildlife had not diminished still further when I visited the same location for a short holiday last week.The several streams that flowed across the flat land  to the beach were still there although the signs of human pollution are evident.At this time of year they are almost dry but  the winter rains from the mountains no doubt increases the flow.
The colourful male Scarlet Darters line the streams margins where they can still find some open water with the females appearing now and again to mate and oviposit.Away from the stream in the sand dunes that separate the tourist apartments from the beach I can always find loads of Red-veined Darters in all stages of maturity.