This strange-looking plant, which can grow up to the height of 1.5 metres, may be found in still or slow-moving water. We find it in a few of our Wyre Forest ponds, track ditches and along sheltered banks of the River Severn. Each flowering spike has male flowers present above the female ones. The fruits, which can float, drop off when ripe and are viable for several months.
These 2 pond skaters appear to be feasting on the leaf hopper Cicadella viridis. It reminds me that we haven’t got a lot of pond skater records for Wyre and should aim to rectify that in the near future.
This excellent photograph was taken by Jon Cartwright and shows how attractive the male Broad-bodied Chaser is. This species is often seen over shallow, sunny ponds where between periods of active flight it perches on waterside vegetation.