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Habrophlebia fusca (Ditch dun)

Habrophlebia fusca is common in central England but has a scattered, localised distribution through out mainland Britain.  There are few records North of the Central belt of Scotland and it appears to be absent from the North West of Scotland.  Nymphs of this species live chiefly in the pools and margins of rivers and stream, where they are found amongst plant life or amongst accumulations of dead leaves.  They live on the surface of leaves of aquatic plant or in the surface layers of fine sediments, especially mud where they feed either by filtering or gathering fine particulate organic detritus from the sediment.  The nymphs are poor swimmers but are adapted for moving amongst dense stands of plants, especially on the surface of the stems.  There is one generation per year that overwinters as nymphs and emerges between May and September. 

 


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Emergence of the adults typically takes place partially or entirely out of the water on a stick, stones or plant stem during daylight hours.  Once mated, the female flies upstream and descends to the surface of the water to release a few eggs by dipping the tip of her abdomen on to the surface at intervals, or by actually settling on the surface for short periods.  After several visits to the water the egg supply of around 1200 eggs is finished and the spent female falls on to the surface.