Wednesday, 17 June 2015

More treats from the pond...

For the last month or so I've been checking the garden pond by torchlight every night to count the number of newts still present and displaying. A count two nights ago ended up yielding 15 Palmate and 3 Smooth newts including one who had just started its terrestrial phase and was heading off across the lawn. On several occasions I've caught sight of a female Great Diving Beetle Dytiscus marginalis swimming around toward the middle of the pond, out of reach but on this night it was close enough to net and get a closer look at.

Great Diving Beetle, female: R. Harris
They are very impressive beetles, a full 3.5 cm long - one of our largest. This one's a female as it has groves running down the wing cases. No doubt she's been happily feeding on the thousands of tadpoles that are present and possibly some of the newts too - they are voracious feeders but also a good sign that there's plenty of invertebrate life in the pond too.

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