Drawn from a photograph taken by the Middle Lake, Nostell Priory, April 2018

If Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen was asked to design an aquatic insect, this is what he might come up with. The smoke-tinted wings of the alderfly are folded like a roof and supported by a tracery of veins, in the style of a Tiffany lamp. Despite these stylish wings they don’t venture far from the water’s edge.

The alderfly larva is a predator, using powerful pincer-like jaws to to prey on aquatic insects such as caddis and mayfly larvae.

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    1. The alderfly is a bit of a fashion victim as it seems reluctant to spread those stylish wings; no chance of it setting off on a long migration, like the monarch butterfly . . . or a migrant hawker.

  1. Beautiful insect and illustration Richard. The smallest insect can be exquisite. This morning I was watching the birds in surrounding gardens. I saw spoonbills, ibises, a cormorant, willie wagtails, a magpie lark, swallows and others. Early morning is a lovely time.:)

    1. We’re doing the RSPB’s annual Garden Bird Watch the weekend after next. If only one or two of your birds would fly over this way! (although they have to touch down or at least use the garden – such as a sparrowhawk swooping through hunting – to qualify)

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