Monday 25 July 2016

The Epaulet Skimmer.

On the extremities of southern Europe such as southern Spain or the Dodecanese Islands off the coast of Turkey,several species can be found that are common to tropical Africa and Asia.One of these species is Orthetrum chrysostigma or the Epaulet Skimmer as it is commonly called.
A couple of years ago while on holiday on the Greek Island of Rhodes I encountered this mature male skimmer.Perhaps the best diagnostic feature is a conspicuous whitish stripe lined in black, beneath the base of each forewing, on the side of the thorax.This feature gives the species its common name in fact.However the feature can be obscured in old males. as noted in the photo below where the stripe seems non-existent.Happily there are other signs that point to this individual being  O. chrysostigma ,the slender abdomen that is waisted near the base,and small adjacent yellow patches at the base of the hindwings.

Monday 4 July 2016

Plenty of Southern Hawkers.

A recent walk in my local forest produced several Southern Hawkers on the lookout for a meal.Despite the dull and rainy weather I came across a good number of these hunting along the forest tracks.The immature male pictured below had just caught its prey and found a dark corner to devour it.
Following the emergence of  a Southern from my garden pond almost a fortnight ago more immatures have been seen flying around the borders.The second hawker pictured is an immature female that landed low down behind the pear tree around 4pm and roosted overnight.She went on her way just before 10am the following morning.