Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Look what I spotted!

One of the reasons I really wanted a stock tank pond was because of what I'd seen hovering around one at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: dragonflies! Since we put our tank together last May, I hadn't seen dragonflies or damselflies hanging out near our pond. Just a few cardinals, white-winged doves, red wasps and paper wasps. Lots of paper wasps. And then....

Right before supper this evening, I was out feeding the fish herd and pulling out dead leaves when I startled a...what's that? infant damselfly! Or more precisely, a damselfly naiad. I think it'd just emerged! Isn't it CUTE? Like mosquitoes, damselflies lay their eggs in water.  

According to the AgriLife Extension's online field guide, damselfly "eggs are deposited in emergent plants or floating vegetation or directly into the water. Immature damselflies (naiads) hatch from eggs and live in water. They develop through 10 to 12 immature stages (instars), although there may be more or fewer instars depending on the species and habitat. The last immature stage crawls out of the water onto vegetation before the adult emerges. Most species have one generation per year."

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