2nd September


The theme today is egg-laying. High Heath.


Rain much of the day.

Last year on August 24th, I showed my first picture of an Ichneumon laying her eggs. I've seen a few of them investigating Knapweed seedheads this year, but this is the first I caught laying. A Braconid Wasp - Macrocentrus sp.

The female is laying her eggs into the larvae of flies which are already inside the seedhead. The wasp eggs will hatch and the wasp larvae will eat the fly larvae. So the flies do all the hard work of converting seeds into flesh and the ichneumons reap the benefit.

Here are a few more images showing the contortions that the ichneumon goes through to manipulate that long ovipositor.


This is a pair of Black darters - Sympetrum danae. The joined pair repeatedly swoop down so that the female's tail just dips under the surface of the water as she lays her eggs. This 'dance' went on for about 3 minutes, then they separated and flew off.

This is another shot of them in transit.

And here's a male sunning himself by the water's edge.

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