Emergence of emperor dragonfly caught on camera at RSPB Lakenheath

PUBLISHED: 10:24 26 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:24 26 July 2016

Emergence of emperor dragonfly caught on camera at RSPB Lakenheath

Emergence of emperor dragonfly caught on camera at RSPB Lakenheath

Archant

An RSPB warden has captured the rare emergence of an emperor dragonfly at Lakenheath Fen nature reserve.

Katherine Puttick caught the four hour long unveiling on camera, and said it’s “something you don’t see everyday, having lived under the water as larvae for the last two years”.

Having crawled out of the pond and up the stem, the images show the dragonfly with its head and legs peeling out of the larval case.

Once the legs have hardened, it does a sit-up like manoeuvre and flicks the rest of its abdomen out of the larval case. After pumping fluid into its wings it sits a while longer before taking its maiden flight.

Katherine said: “Many people love the sight of these beautiful insects but may have never seen this emerging process before.

“It caught the attention of lots of excited visitors and it’s great to have been able to capture it on camera so that others can witness it too.”

To enable people to get even closer to the dragonfly action at different locations throughout the reserve, dragonfly enthusiast Ruary Mackenzie-Dodds suggested introducing a new dragonfly watching platform.

It is currently in the process of being constructed with other dragonfly additions including floating logs and windows into ditches.

For more information visit www.rspb.org.uk/reserves

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