Sunday, December 18, 2011

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Five Golden Rings!

Cordulegaster boltonii
Well, after four days of birds (don't worry, there are still a few more to go for you bird-lovers!) we finally have a whole different type of critter... though it still has wings.

Meet the Golden-ringed Dragonfly, the longest Dragonfly in the entire United Kingdom. The species is named for its black body and and the golden bands that pattern down its length. They can be found near streams and rivers of all sizes, and are abundant throughout Great Britain.

Female Golden-ringed Dragonflies are a tad bit larger than the males. This is due to the presence of an ovipositor at the ends of their abdomens. This is the organ used for laying eggs, which is a process done by flying over the river banks and jabbing the abdomen into the sediment. Eggs hatch in a few days and the Dragonfly larvae remain in the sediment for as long as 5 years! They undergo numerous molts before finally reaching their adult form, with metamorphosis typically taking place at night.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Great Britain
Size : Length up to 3in (8cm)
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Class : Insecta -- Order : Odonata
Family : Cordulegastridae -- Genus : Cordulegaster -- Species : C. boltonii

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