We’d seen them in the pond – a bit like mutant prawns swimming about and hoovering up the tiny tadpoles before they’d had a chance to develop. A bit of on-line research told us that they were dragonfly larvae. Today we saw them out of the water for the first time, as they climbed precariously up the stalks and leaves of the various pond plants, ready to transform themselves into stunning black and yellow dragonflies apparently twice their size.
These are Golden Ringed Dragonflies, Britain’s largest species and a common site on the acidic pools and water courses of Dartmoor. Judging by the large numbers of larvae still clinging to the pond’s greenery we are going to be responsible for a significant increase in the local population. We are sorry not to be seeing baby frogs and newts developing at the same time, but at least their predators will be putting on a colourful summer show, joining the dozens of beautiful blue Azure Damsel flies we have seen mating over the pond for more than a month now.