|Official Name||Axford Pondflitter|
|Habitat||Freshwater bogs, ponds, and lakes.|
For as long as Humans have lived in Anglia, the Axford Pondflitter has lived alongside them in the marshy and wet areas of Anglian lowland. Often mistaken for dragonflies, Axford Pondflitters are known for their iridescent bodies and their tendency to dart through the air low to the water’s surface in search of emerging prey insects.
The history of the Axford Pondflitter is not very well documented, as they are both common and unuseful in everyday life. There is the occasional record of attempts to find a use for their reflective carapace in creating dyes, or investigation of their nymphs as food sources for decorative pond fish, but beyond that, there is little of note regarding the history of this mundane insect species.
The Axford Pondflitter is similar in dimensions to a common dragonfly, being between one and two inches in length. Their abdomen makes up most of this length, extending in segments behind them, covered by their rounded wings, which are long, thin, membranous and completely transparent. They have six legs and a small head characterized by two large compound eyes, and sporting a set of powerful jaws used for hunting. Their carapace is often a metallic blue color, though greener tints have been observed in some regions.
There is some level of diversity within this species, especially depending on habitat; in the swampland of Anglia, specimens are more likely to have a green hue, whereas individuals found around lakes or larger bodies of water tend to be bluer for unknown reasons. Furthermore, the two variants have noticeably different abdominal markings, leading some naturalists to regard them a separate species entirely. Regardless, all Axford Pondflitter females are larger than males, occupying the one and a half to two-inch size bracket, where males tend to be between three-quarters of an inch and one inch in length.
Life Span and Development
Beginning as an egg laid by adult Pondflitters on water reeds or other aquatic plant life late in the year, the aquatic Pondflitter nymphs emerge with the coming of the next spring. They are markedly different to the adult flies, lacking both the wings and the extended abdomen, possessing a strange set of mouthparts that can be used to rapidly seize and pierce smaller prey. The Pondflitter lives underwater as a nymph for the majority of its life, up to four months, going through many molts as it grows, and eventually rises to the surface. Climbing out into the air, the nymph takes a strong stance in preparation for the final molt; the thorax splits, and the soft-bodied adult emerges. To begin with, the adult’s wings are limp and small; they expand and harden over a period of a few hours as the Pondflitter pumps fluids into them, before hardening the carapace. Generally speaking, this process takes no more than twelve hours and no less than one hour and, during that period, the Pondflitter is vulnerable to predators. Once the wings and carapace have hardened, however, the fly is able to take to the air and will live for a few more weeks, during which time it will reproduce. Axford Pondflitters only reproduce once, laying batches of ten to twenty eggs before the adult weakens and subsequently dies shortly after..
The intelligence of the Axford Pondflitter has not been properly studied, but it is mostly assumed that they are instinctual creatures with little to no thought whatsoever. They are not tameable, but are not hostile to sentient Races or indeed anything larger than a Bee.
Territory and Groupings
Axford Pondflitters are solitary, non-territorial insects that tend to live and die in and around a single body of water. Occasionally, they are able to travel between closeby pools, but this is not routine as their short lifespan limits their travel.
- Axford Pondflitters are often admired for their beautiful carapace, and sometimes even deliberately introduced to estate gardens for their shimmering, wisp-like appearance.