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Leptophlebia vespertina (Claret dun)

Leptophlebia vespertina is a fairly common species which has been found throughout the British Isles, including Ireland.  L. vespertina is reported to prefer peaty or acidic waters and as a result, tends to be less common from lowland waters.  Nymphs of this species can be found in the pools and margins of slow flowing streams and in ponds and lakes where they climb upon the surface of leaves of aquatic plants or crawl in the surface layers of fine sediments, especially mud.  The nymphs are poor swimmers but are adapted for moving amongst dense stands of plants, especially on the surface of the stems.  They feed by gathering fine particulate organic detritus from the sediment.  There is one generation a year, which usually overwinters as nymphs and emerges between April and August.

 


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Emergence of the adults takes place during daylight hours at the surface of the water or more typically, partially or entirely out of the water on a stick, stone or plant stem.  The males of this species can be found swarming throughout the day, and as the species name suggests, this swarming often continues well into the evening.

 

Once mated, the female returns to 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 water surface for short periods.  After several visits to the water her supply of around between 1200 and 2500 eggs is finished and the spent female falls on to the surface.