macro

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Colourful ~ damselfly

Sialis sp. Family: Sialidae, the Alderflies Order: Megaloptera Distribution & habitat: As this is not identified down to species, I'll use the genus distribution, which is most of Europe and Eastern and Western parts of NA. For habitat, the larvae requires at least slow moving waters, such as streams, rivers etc etc. Adults don't usually wander off far from the place they spent their time as larvae. The living fossil! A fact that not many even are aware of, that they really are living fossils. The Sialidae family species have been around since the Jurassic period, 145-201 million years ago! These absolutely fantastic little Alderflies are something that have fascinated me for quite a while, but never really got too deeply into them for some reason. The Sialis genus is the only genus of Sialidae found here in Finland. We have 5 species of them overall, spread rather locally, except for one species that is found throughout the whole country. As for this species, I have honestly no idea which is it. I lack too much with Alderfly identification to be able to say for sure which species this is. The Sialis species adult females lay between 200 to 500 eggs on the leaves of the vegetation (Common Reed etc) in or near the water, where the larvae eventually hatch and falls straight into the water, where they live for 2 years, feeding on other small aquatic insects, molluscs, worms etc. After about 2 years, in the spring, the larvae will crawl to the shore and bury itself into the ground to pupate. According to couple sources, they can bury themselves up to 16-18 meters (~52-59 ft.) deep! Once adults, they only live for few weeks, unless becoming a prey for various of other animals that feeds on them. The adults themselves feed on pollen from flowers. I found this little one, among possibly hundreds of others, earlier this summer, when it flew straight onto my nose from the nearby Willow bush. Alderflies don't seem to mind being handled and this one decided to stay on my finger tip long enough for me to get better photos of it than on the Willow with the windy weather. Of course, after these photos, I placed it back on the Willow and moved on.