Friday, 26 June 2009

Careful!

A lovely walk this morning through Shipley Park, round Mapperley Reservoir and back home. We caught sight of some spectacular invertebrates today - spectacular to us, but not if you are on their menu!
Firstly one of our eight-legged 'friends' which goes by the name of a Long-jawed Spider (Tetragnatha extensa).

The long body of this little charmer can vary in colour and it sits in it's web (here, attached to a Willowherb) waiting for some unfortunate insect to stumble in. Harmless to humans, it is deadly to moths, flies and mosquitoes.
Next is a rather more handsome creature, the Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).

Found near standing water and rivers with muddy banks such as where cattle have trampled the ground into soft mud. When hunting, they skim over the water, close to the surface. They often clash with other males where their territories meet. This species is not common but, thankfully on the increase.
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