23 May 2011

Water Stick Insects at Broad Pool

Jeff Hinton wrote 'I don't know if it's a particularly noteworthy sighting but I saw my first water stick insect (Ranatra linearis) whilst pond dipping near Broad Pool on Sunday 8th May. All together I came across 3 of them, one of which was heavily infested with mites. During the same trip I also found numerous final instar Emperor dragonfly larvae and was surrounded by Four spot chasers, Broad bodied chasers and, slightly unexpectedly, Hairy hawkers (I've never seen these at this site before).'

Although I have seen this distinctive species at a couple of sites, I know very little about it's preferences so would be interested to discover if and where others have seen it locally?


David Carrington said...

Jeff, water stick insects are caught from time to time at Kenfig as are water scorpions and water measurers.

Jeff Hinton said...

Thanks David. I'll have to keep my eye out for them at other sites. I've recently saw a couple of water scorpions as well as a water measurer at Ryers down but again these seem to be quite locally distributed. Jeff

Nigel Ajax Lewis said...

Hi Jeff,

I am not sure which site "near Broad Pool" you might mean, but Broad Pool itself has had a population of Ranatra for the last 30 odd years to my knowledge as a WT nature reserve. It is not a species I was at all familiar with on the chalk of the South of England in my youth where there were only Water Scorpions and Water Measurer in ponds and places like the Odiham Canal.