Mass emergence day

Yesterday, while talking a walk around my garden pond, I was surprised to see huge amounts of damselfly exuviae on the aquatic plants. The white filaments are the old tracheal gills that the larvae used to breathe underwater.

When I say “mass emergence”, I mean it…I managed to count 37 of them on a single plant (a Horsetail) ! They all belong to the same species, Pyrrhosoma nymphula (the Large Red Damselfly), which is usually the first one to emerge.

The adults were perched on almost every tree and hedge plant in my garden. They tend to stay in the sun for a few hours until their wings are dry and hard enough to fly.

The funny thing is that none of those had emerged on Thursday. I could see the larvae in the water, but no exuviae. I guess yesterday was the perfect emergence day in terms of temperature, humidity and sunlight!

Even more bizarre is this droplet-shaped larvae with a siphon at the end. I have absolutely no clue on what it could be and I’m waiting for specialist answers! Nature is sometimes pretty weird😀
EDIT : answer came from the specialists on that great forum (in French, sorry : http://www.insecte.org/forum/). It’s the pupa (stage after larva) of a marmelade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus). Another mystery solved🙂

About Sophie

Qui suis-je? Who am I? Wer bin Ich? A biologist crazy about everything that lives on earth, under water and in the air. Loving plants, gardening, music, diving and travelling. Currently rescuing threatened garden plants at Plant Heritage (NCCPG).
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2 Responses to Mass emergence day

  1. Rachel says:

    I have no idea what it could be! The photo’s are so good though, never seen a Large Red in life yet. Is it a big pond that you have?

  2. Sophie says:

    I got an answer! It’s actually the pupa of a marmelade hoverfly…wow, I’ve learned something new 😀
    The pond is not that large, about 2 m long * 1 m wide, max depth around 90 cm. I’ve had those damselflies and also a few dragonflies for the past three years, so I guess it just feels comfy for them.

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