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As we head to late summer the Darters are often recorded and Jan Shields has been enjoying Ruddy Darter and Common Darter at Mousecroft Pool. At first glance these males are similar, but the Ruddy (left) has solid black legs, a black T shape on top of the thorax and is generally redder – often seen with a ruddy frons. The Common Darter (below left) has a clear yellow stripe running down the black legs and antehumeral stripes on top of the thorax…though these can be disappointingly faint! Jan also saw Southern, Migrant and Brown Hawkers including this ovipositing female illustrating those spectacular brown wings.

Elsewhere in Shrewsbury Jim Almond has spotted yet more early Migrant Hawkers and has sent in these excellent close ups of firstly the male and secondly the female. The photos show clearly the diagnostic golf tee shape at the top of the abdomen in both sexes and also the reduced antehumeral stripes.