Water boatmen rest on the surface of the water sensing vibrations. If something is disturbing the water they will dive to investigate. When the boatmen get around one or two inches of their prey they can then track it using their eye sight. They kill the prey by jabbing it with its rostrum (feeding tube) and injecting its toxic saliva. They are very effective predators and can catch and eat tadpoles, small fish and even the fearsome larvae of the diving beetle. They will also eat flying insects that have accidentally fallen onto the surface of the water and can fly between different ponds.
Dragonfly Nymphs are the adolescent dragonfly, just before it transforms into an adult. They are from the order 'Odonata', from the Greek word, odous, meaning tooth. They can give sharp bite with their teeth (mandibles) if held carelessly.
These nymphs are short and chunky with wing pads and internal gills. The look like something from a nightmare, they have six legs which are located near the head. Nymphs can be seen on plants, among stones, and leaf litter, most of my sightings are in ponds and on the canal.
Dragonfly Nymphs are predators and feed mostly on other insects in the water. They are known cannibals. Some of the larger species feed on small fish and tadpoles. They catch their food with a toothed lower lip (labium) that is usually folded under the head. When prey comes near, the nymph will shoot out its lower lip to grab it, faster than most prey can react. The lip is then pulled back to the waiting mouth and feeding begins.
They breath by sucking water into its abdomen to move water over its internal gills. Once it has absorbed enough oxygen, the nymph squeezes the water out rapidly so it does not have to come up for air like most pond insects. This also helps jet propel them forwards in the water.
Much of a dragonfly's life is spent in the larval stage where it moults six to 15 times. The nymph crawls out of the water and moults one last time, emerging as an adult with functional wings. Dragonflies and damselflies do not go through a pupal stage to become an adult.
I was taking pictures of the mill, when I noticed a storm front moving towards Manchester City Center some 8 miles in the distance. My first thoughts we not 'What good pictures these will make'.. but 'Another Sky Watch post in the bag'.
As some of you know already I do not have my own PC and Tom hosts this one for me, I do however get the chance now and then to visit your blogs and see your picture... thank you for visiting here and commenting... I appreciate you all putting up with this one sided blog arrangement and thank you all
I had to stop and watch the work of these Swallows, going backwards and forwards with small bits of grass, and mud. The would fly to the mud-hole with the grass, dip it into the waters edge and cover one end with mud then fly off into the distance to add to their nests. Others would just turn up for mud.. very hectic and hard working.
6'8" Gentle Giant
As I do not have a P.C. this blog and my pictures are done from my friends computer. I thank Tom from 'Wiggers World' for the help he gives with running this and sorting out the posts.
I call around with my camera and over a milky coffee we down load my pictures and see which I want to show. I have no idea of the workings of a P.C. but Tom as.
Because I don't know my way around the computer let alone the world of blogging, I am sorry to say my visits to your blogs will be few and far between. I sit here with Tom and he points out who is commenting, then shows me their blog.
I will with Tom's help respond on my posts and thank you for your time.
I just enjoy the chance to show my pictures and marval at the fact that from Tom's P.C. they wing there way all around the world.
Thank you for reading this and the interest you have shown.
If you want to e-mail me then please do, again with Tom's help I will reply to all.