xanthos, OK that is latin for yellow but those X words are hard to come by. It is either female or an immature male possibly the latter as it has three yellow spots in the black band of the thorax. The extraordinary eyes can see as far as forty metres (44 yards) but in common with other insect eyes it cannot move them, but this is no problem to the dragonfly for it can rotate its head giving it an almost 360 degree vision.
Dragonflies are benign in their attitude towards humans. They neither sting nor bite us and in fact they do a great deal of good in keeping down mosquitoes and other small flies which make up the bulk of their diet. I hope it had a go at the ones that were nibbling at my knees while I took the photographs. They only enjoy a brief life of iridescent beauty, usually just a few weeks on the wing. The remainder of their total lifespan of two years is spent as underwater larvae but just as they are formidable killers on the wing so in their aquatic form they are just as ruthless. Maybe this is why in Japan dragonflies are associated historically with victory in battle. The X rated story from medieval England is that the long, needle-like bodies of dragonflies would sew up the lips of children that told lies. Shudder...
Damselflies belong to the same order as Dragonflies, Odonata, but are smaller and have different patterns of behaviour being more social, less aggressive in their territorial defences and populate an area more densely. What prettier sight is there than dozens of brightly coloured Damselflies floating up and down in the air by the side of ponds. This Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) alight on a fern rests its wings over its body unlike the Dragonflies which remain spread out in flat, horizontal positions. They also do not feed in flight.
Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa), the sun just catching its wings.
What other insect has the X Factor. It has to be the butterfly. A Large Skipper feeding on its favourite plant, the bramble. It can be found anywhere with wild grasses and has the wonderfully long proboscis as you can see here, ideal for its favourite flowers.
All these photos were taken in the peat moss of Angerton ideal condition with their pools and flora for these creatures.
n X Files episode, webs covering all the hedges, reminding me of those old B films of aliens wrapping humans in cocoons or huge spider colonies tucking away the bodies of their victims. Thankfully this is the work of the ermine moth which provides protection for its thousands of caterpillars from the birds, who find them rather tasty.
We are nearing the end of this round of ABC Wednesday having reached the tricky letter X but for inventive posts for the letter X go here.