Saturday, 18 August 2012

Willow Emerald at Fingringhoe Wick

I ran a Close-up and Macro Nature Photography Workshop today at Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve near Colchester, and at one of the ponds (Pine Pond) we found an Emerald Damselfly that I thought was a Willow Emerald (Lestes viridis), which had been found at Fingringhoe for the first time (I think) in 2010.  It's a recent colonist of Britain, first found in numbers in Suffolk in 2009.  The British Dragonfly Society has details of the Willow Emerald here.

By no means an expert on Damselfly identification, I needed to double-check when I got home, but I'm sure it's a Willow, and here's my fairly poor record shot:

Pentax K-5, Sigma EX 105mm f/2.8 macro lens @ f/8, 1/60s, -0.5EV, ISO400, handheld.

Something else we saw was this cricket, which had a black stripe running down its back.  I've not seen one like this before, and it may well be a nymph of a conehead, probably a long-winged conehead (Conocephalus discolor).  Googling it does suggest that's what it is, I'm just surprised they have the long ovipositor at this nymph stage.

Pentax K-5, Sigma EX 105mm f/2.8 macro lens @ f/8, 1/125s, -0.5EV, ISO400, handheld.

Pentax K-5, Sigma EX 105mm f/2.8 macro lens @ f/5.6, 1/180s, +0.5EV, ISO400, handheld.

Lastly, here's a Grey Dagger moth (Acronicta psi) caterpillar, ID'ed in the excellent 'British Moths and Butterflies' book by Chris Manley.

Pentax K-5, Sigma EX 105mm f/2.8 macro lens @ f/6.7, 1/1000s, -0.5EV, ISO800, handheld.

It was excruciatingly hot today, but also a day of firsts for me, as I hadn't seen any of the above before.  Any comments or confirmation of ID appreciated!

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