Dragonflies and spiders galore
LOTS of dragonflies have been taking advantage of the bright, sunny spells in between the showers.
Certainly there appear to be many more of them by this stage of the summer compared to last year’s dismal numbers.
This fine photo of a broad bodied chaser was taken by David Pye at Carr Pond in the Eston Hills.
These chubby dragonflies that fully reflect their names are more commonly seen in the south, so a Cleveland sighting is a good tick.
The broad bodied chaser is said to be the first creature to colonise newly dug garden ponds so go and get that spade out!
I think I am correct in saying that the dragonfly in the picture is a female because I believe that the male has a lot of light blue colouring on its abdomen.
Broad bodied chasers are closely related to fourspotted chasers, which are much more common in our region.
In fact, I have seen a lot of these brownish drag- onflies during the past couple of weeks aggressively competing for territories in the shallow pools at RSPB Saltholme.
Obvious mating has also taken place in flight so no doubt we can look forward to another clutch of four-spotted chasers next year.
In the past I have seen the females deposit their eggs in the water during flight, which gives a good insight into the life cycle of adult dragonflies.
From dragonflies to spiders, and am I the only one who has noted that my house has been abnormally awash with these eight-legged creepy crawlies this spring and early summer?
We all traditionally expect to see giant house spiders in our homes in the autumn, when they allegedly come out of the cold and stalk our walls and carpets looking for a mate.
Everything then usually quietens down and I always used to believe that the spiders stopped their crawling and died of natural causes.
Not so, it appears. I’ve suffered some nervous moments with scuttling house spiders this year, which appear to be even bigger than they are in the autumn.
Now I’m led to understand that house spiders are with us all the time but, for three seasons of the year, don’t usually put themselves in an exposed situation during the daytime.
This year is different. They’ve boldly decided to make themselves obvious and I’ve had to move our bed slightly away from the wall to give us a chance of avoid being crawled over during the night.
Eric would like to hear from readers about what they have seen. Email him at email@example.com