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Dragonflies & Damselflies Page 8

Image Taken on 16 Aug 2010 at 13:58    Image of day on 01 Oct 2010

A common darter dragonfly in flight. Darters dragonflies are intermediate in size between Damselflies and Hawker Dragonflies and you may spot them perching on overhanging pond side foliage, taking off and returning to the same spot.

Ref: 20101001_da1_20100816_1358_053+1544_157_ft1 common darter dragonfly male in flight with flag iris leaf (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Aug 2014 at 12:45    Image of day on 26 Oct 2014

A Common Darter Dragonfly landing on a pondweed encrusted twig. The right hand image is moved right - it was making a more vertical landing than appears here.

Ref: 20141026_df2_20140818_1245_487+489- common darter dragonfly male landing on stick 1+3 of 3 (adjusted montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 29 Jul 2014 at 12:14    Image of day on 04 Oct 2014

Our pond side Dragonfly perch was knocked downward by some visitor - maybe a bird trying to land on it - and we reinstalled it (i.e. pushed in into a fresh bit of pond side mud). Almost immediately this male Common Darter Dragonfly changed his lookout post to make use of the new facility.
If you have a pond, try it yourself - a stick 45cm to 60cm long stuck in the edge sloping up over the water. It will mostly likely be adopted quickly by any Darter Dragonfly that visits your pond. If you don't have a pond - make even a tiny one!

Ref: 20141004_df2_20140729_1214_015 common darter dragonfly male on pond side twig (crop)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 27 Aug 2013 at 09:50    Image of day on 28 Oct 2013

A male Common Darter dragonfly waits for the sun to warm him up. He is a hunter - not interested in the flowers for nectar.

Ref: 20131028_df1_20130827_0950_162 common darter dragonfly male perched on spent purple loosestrife (adjusted crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Sep 2009 at 14:52    Image of day on 01 Nov 2009

This a montage of 5 images showing a common darter dragonfly taking off from a branch. The spacing of the first 3 is forced horizontally because they would overlap, but the vertical rise is accurately montaged.
The transition between still and having left the branch takes 66mS (2 frames at 30fps). Hooray for a camera that can store what happened before you press the button even if the quality is not 'premium'.

Ref: 20091101_cf1_20090918_1452_885-889 common darter dragonfly male vertical takeoff @ 30fps (vertically accurate montage of 2-6 of 7)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 04 Sep 2013 at 12:22    Image of day on 04 Nov 2013

An old female Common darter dragonfly warms herself in the sun. The mouth (left) is slightly open.

Ref: 20131104_df1_20130904_1222_198 common darter dragonfly mature female (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Aug 2009 at 10:09    Image of day on 10 Oct 2009

This quite old female common darter dragonfly is very faded but in otherwise good condition and a good flyer.

Ref: 20091010_da1_20090830_1009_115+1014_134_ft1 common darter dragonfly over mature female in flight with hawthorn twig (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 25 Aug 2017 at 13:36    Image of day on 11 Oct 2017

Out first Darter Dragonfly of 2017 is appropriately a 'Common Darter', here perched on the leaves of the Dogwood that dominates the island of the duck-shaped pond looking for something to hunt and something to mate with.

Ref: 20171011_df3_20170825_1336_004 common darter dragonfly perched on dogwood at duck-shaped pond (orig)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Aug 2014 at 10:19    Image of day on 19 Oct 2014

This is the Common Darter dragonfly, perched above a Hop sedge cluster of seed heads. Look at the subtle colouration.

Ref: 20141019_df2_20140808_1019_165 common darter dragonfly perched on hop sedge (crop 2)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 06 Aug 2016 at 14:36    Image of day on 29 Sep 2016

The Common Darter Dragonfly finally decided to sun itself on this seed head.

Ref: 20160929_df3_20160806_1436_187 common darter dragonfly perched on seed head(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Aug 2008 at 15:32    Image of day on 20 Aug 2008

... and from the same frame extreme detail of the eye.
We have never noticed before that the eyes not only have two separately coloured areas, but these areas have different 'honeycomb' sizes and curvatures, presumably with different optical characteristics. You could spend a lifetime researching these amazing creatures so little changed from fossils millions of years old.

Ref: 20080820_da1_20080807_1532_023 common darter female 2 eye detail(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Aug 2008 at 15:32    Image of day on 20 Aug 2008

A minute or so before the above it was on a stone where we took this close-up of the head and thorax.

Ref: 20080820_da1_20080807_1532_023 common darter female 2 head & thorax detail(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Aug 2008 at 15:33    Image of day on 20 Aug 2008

A female Common Darter dragonfly warming herself on the back of a garden seat, positioned herself vertically to catch the sunshine. A newsletter recipient tells us this is called the obelisk position, normally used at midday to keep cool.

Ref: 20080820_da1_20080807_1533_047 common darter female 2 positioning herself to warm in the sun(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 26 Aug 2007 at 15:14    Image of day on 21 Sep 2007

Darter dragonflies are smaller cousins of hawkers (see 18 Sep 2007) but no less beautiful.

Ref: 20070921_d01_20070826_1514_272 common darter male dragonfly(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 12 Sep 2010 at 14:35    Image of day on 08 Nov 2010

As the season advances dragonflies generally get tatty wings from encounters with thorns etc. They continue to fly fine with quite extensive damage - we are glad there are no nerves in dragonfly wings. This Common Darter Dragonfly female is now past breeding and is photographed with the actual teasel plant she was netted on. Her head is turned bit toward the camera with her left eye at the top of the head.

Ref: 20101108_da1_20100912_1435_068+1444_081_ft1 common darter overmature female (torn wing) in flight with teasel netted on (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 11 Sep 2006 at 13:21    Image of day on 21 Sep 2006

Some of the beech tress have lost leaves to caterpillars. This Dragonfly finds this bare treetop a useful perch.

Ref: 20060921_d10_20060911_1321_107 common sympetrum dragonfly on beech bud(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 29 Oct 2006 at 12:53    Image of day on 02 Nov 2006

This pair of coupled Common Sympetrum Dragonflies spent some time laying eggs in the adjacent pond & warming themselves in the sun on a patch of dry grass where they are surprisingly difficult to spot if you don't see them land.

Ref: 20061102_p34_20061029_1253_733 common sympetrum dragonfly pair in tandem on grass(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 15 Aug 2010 at 14:10    Image of day on 02 Oct 2010

In 26 Sep 2010 we showed you a male Emerald damselfly brought to us for some technical photos (see previous description). To complete the study we photographed some more males and this female.

Ref: 20101002_da1_20100815_1410_011+1521_149_ft1 emerald damselfly female in flight with ornamental rush (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Aug 2010 at 14:43    Image of day on 26 Sep 2010

And taking a final fly before going back to the waterside

Ref: 20100926_da1_20100808_1443_037+1436_016_ft1 emerald damselfly male in flight with hop sedge (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Aug 2010 at 14:39    Image of day on 26 Sep 2010

A male Emerald Damselfly brought to us for some technical photos of the blue 'pruinescence' (a powdery substance that rubs off) & went on to provide some delightful images before release. The Hop sedge looks a bit strange but that is how it goes - there were hundreds like this with very similar strips sticking up and down.

Ref: 20100926_da1_20100808_1439_028_ft1 emerald damselfly male on hop sedge (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg




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