Steve from Dol has sent us the following query by email on 23rd September 2016:
'Do you know much about dragonflies on the Island?
Over the Summer I have seen several and I know Norman nearby has also seen similar.
While I know a few of the more obvious ones I am puzzled, one thing I do know is that they like water in which to lay. The dragonfly life cycle is for the most part spent underwater and they only emerge as what we see towards the end of their life and to mate.
I am puzzled as to where they can possibly lay eggs, I only know one source of water down near the airfield and I don’t believe from there they would travel up to Dol. I often think they could be laying in the numerous wells/water storage places in the field but most are covered and I don’t know how they would emerge. One species described to me was the Golden Ringed Dragonfly and this as I read likes fast flowing water so I even more at a loss.
I was down near the airfield yesterday and several of just two species that I could tell were flying the one species tended to be flying joined to his mate, there were several of these
Didn’t know whether or not you can shed any light on this for me? I know of someone in the UK who specialises in Dragonflies, I may email him and see what comes of it.'
Eco Hvar's reply, 23rd September 2016:
Yes, actually there are many more sources of water than you'd think, off the beaten tracks, but also in the fields.
A lot of the enclosed wells have open basin on top,which can be home to all sorts of insects, including water snakes. Unless the fields around the wells have been doused in herbicide of course. There was a superb little water snake in the open part of the well by my field one year. It would curl itself round and round very lazily, right up to the time the basin went dry. I was afraid 'my' snake had died, lying there quietly, but it then discreetly disappeared, re-appearing a cuple of times in the grass above the well, presumably looking forward to the winter rains which would replenish its basking place.
Talking about herbicide, did you see that the sale of Cidokor/Roundup is to be banned from October 1st, together with 12 other glyphosate-based herbicides? Good as far as it goes, but it still leaves 12 other glyphosate herbicides on the market!
We''ll look forward to hearing the results of your dragonfly investigations. A good place to see them is in the environs of Humac, where there are some lovely natural pools where the horses and some hunting dogs drink and butterflies abound, as there are no poisoned fields in the vicinity.