Nature Notes from Skye
(and occasionally other places)
Thu 5 Aug 2004
SWT Dragonfly meeting at Loch Caol, Sligachan. The photos I got this time were not so good as those from the same event last year, mainly because there was not so much netting done this time. So here is a link to last year's report, whose only existing link must be buried deep in the Wild Skye archives by now, if it still exists at all. Skye Dragonflies.
This is the Emerald Damselfly, female on the left and male on the right.
This is the Black Darter. On the left a teneral (i.e newly-emerged) female, and on the right a female that has developed some of the normal colouring. Below is a prey's eye view of the teneral female.
The male Common Blue Damselfly was very plentiful, much more easily observed than the female as we noticed last year. I think the one on the right is a teneral female of this species.
The nets went into the water as well. The thin creature is a damselfly larva and the fat one a dragonfly larva, thought to be that of the Four-spotted Chaser.
When the larva turns into an adult it leaves behind its larval skin, called an exuvia. Many of these were found attached to rocks that the larvae had used to climb out of the water. Others were found floating on the surface. The one on the right is believed to be that of the Common Hawker.
Other creatures of interest seen were a Large Heath butterfly, several Northern Eggar caterpillars, and a Broom Moth caterpillar, of which a photo appeared in last year's report. I don't think I've seen this caterpillar in between the two Loch Caol visits, but I don't know why it should favour that locality.
Water levels were even lower than last year, and some plants of the aquatic species Pipewort found themselves growing on dry land, as in the picture on the left. Sneezewort, right, is a common flower of late summer and I took this picture by the roadside when I got back to the car. The afternoon had been dry and breezy with sunny spells, but by the time we left the Cuillins were glowering and the wind was gathering speed.
All photos and other content copyright © Carl Farmer