Hippo dung helps dragonflies, fish


This video is called Inside Nature’s Giants- Hippo.

From New Scientist:

Hippo dung is health food for river animals

18:45 15 April 2015 by Jessica Hamzelou

Don’t just flush it away. Just as one person’s trash is another’s treasure, hippo dung seems to be a valuable source of nutrition for the animals’ aquatic neighbours.

By injecting millions of tons of faeces into African waters every year, hippos may be providing a vital link between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Douglas McCauley of the University of California in Santa Barbara and his colleagues compared fish and dragonfly larvae in two river pools in Kenya‘s Laikipia district, one inhabited by hippos and the other hippo-free.

They found components of hippo dung in the tissues of dragonfly larvae that lived alongside the animals year round. During the dry season, fish absorbed faecal nutrients as well, while levels in dragonfly larvae increased.

The team thinks that during the wet season, high rainfall dilutes the hippos’ waste and faster-flowing rivers also wash away dung before animals can access it.

As climate change and development in east Africa continue to affect local rivers, it will be important to consider how the benefits of hippo excrement can be preserved.

Journal reference: Ecosphere, doi.org/3nv

Dragonflies in your garden


In this Dutch video, entomologist Kars Veling explains how to attract dragonflies to your garden.

These Dragonflies Helped an Astronomer Find Ghostly New Galaxies. A Yale scientist set out to capture the insect’s full lifecycle and ended up discovering hidden wonders of the cosmos: here.

Dragonfly feeding, video


This video is about a vagrant darter dragonfly feeding.

Marjo Steffen in the Netherlands made this video.

Spotted flycatchers, mistle thrushes, damselflies and butterflies


Blue-tailed damselfly, 2 August 2014

On 2 August 2014, to Gooilust nature reserve. Home, to, eg, this blue-tailed damselfly.

In a ditch marking the border of Gooilust, a grey heron spreading its wings because of the heat. Minutes later, it cleaned its feathers.

Nuthatch sound. A great tit.

A bit further, an Egyptian goose flies, calling.

At the ‘dragonfly pond’, an emperor dragonfly flies around.

Blue-tailed damselflies, 2 August 2014

Many blue-tailed damselflies; like this couple in love.

Far above them, swifts flying. Soon, they will be on autumn migration to Africa.

Near the Gooilust mansion: two spotted flycatchers on a fence. Every now and then, they take off to catch insects. One of them sits down on a leafless branch; the usual resting spot for flycatchers, before humans made fences.

We arrive at the Gooilust garden. A buzzard flies past.

A recently fledged young mistle thrush is fed by a parent.

A bit further, a blackbird and a song thrush cross the footpath.

Willow emerald damselfly, 2 August 2014

Willow emerald damselflies on the plants along a pond.

Willow emerald damselfly on plant, 2 August 2014

Red admiral, 2 August 2014

On a flower, a red admiral butterfly.

Small tortoiseshell and peacock, 2 August 2014

A bit further, a small tortoiseshell and a peacock butterfly on the same butterfly-bush flower; with a red admiral in the background.

Peacock butterfly, 2 August 2014

Brimstone butterfly, 2 August 2014

Other butterflies: whitish with a bit of greenish: brimstone butterflies.

This is a brimstone butterfly video.

Edible frog sound.

The weather changes fast: from hot and sunny to thunderstorm. We go back. First, we hear the thunder and see the lightning. Then, rain starts. A little rain. Then, very much more rain.

A song thrush on the forest floor.

As thunder, lighting and rain continued, a buzzard took off from Corversbos field.

Butterflies and dragonflies of Rottumerplaat island


This video from Britain is called Grayling Butterflies, Hipparchia semele.

Jasper Zoeter, Martijn Bunskoek and Tim van Nus, wardens of desert island Rottumerplaat in the Netherlands, report about butterflies and dragonflies.

This summer, graylings are the most common butterflies: hundreds were seen.

Other Rottumerplaat butterflies this year: meadow brown; small copper; small heath; comma; Essex skipper; common blue.

About dragonflies, they write:

Not only for birds the water tank below the tower is useful. For dragonflies it is interesting, because between 1 and 11 July here almost daily ruddy darters metamorphosed from larva to adult. Based on the number of counted and collected larva skins at least 48 individuals emerged from the shallow water. Special, they all came from such a small pond! Reproduction of dragonflies on Rottumerplaat is known from only a few species. On 5 and 6 July, a strong southerly winds brought large numbers of dragonflies to the island. This were mainly various types of darters, including the nationally rare yellow-winged darter, of which one female was observed. We have also seen an emperor dragonfly a few times.

Four-spotted chaser dragonfly video


This video is about a four-spotted chaser dragonfly.

Jan Gorel in the Netherlands made the video.

Dragonflies and pine marten on Rottumerplaat island


This video is called Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura pumilio).

On Rottumerplaat, the Dutch desert island, there are not only birds.

Wardens Martijn Bunskoek and Tim van Nus report about dragonflies and damselflies on the island as well.

They saw a scarce blue-tailed damselfly. The first time ever for this species on Rottumerplaat. The wardens suspect that the water of the lakelet where they found this insect is too brackish for reproduction.

Also, this year there was a variable damselfly; for the first time since 1995 on the island.

Other damselfly and dragonfly species on Rottumerplaat: four-spotted chaser; red-veined darter; emperor dragonfly; and southern emerald damselfly.

On 26 May 2014, wardens found a pine marten carcass on the beach of Rottumerplaat. Probably, the marten was from Lauwersoog where this species lives, and sea currents brought it to the island. Probably, the same happened to three dead hares and a dead lamb, found on Rottumerplaat.