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Dragonflies & Damselflies Page 14

Image Taken on 24 Jun 2010 at 12:28    Image of day on 03 Aug 2010

Dragonflies end their 2 or 3 year life as predatory aquatic larvae by crawling up a plant stem and emerging from a pupal case (Exuvia) to expand into the flying insect. This image shows the intricacy of the case including transparent eyes and the strands which are insides of the breathing spiracles. The insect exited out of the upper back. Thanks for Rory for the gift of the Exuvia from his garden pond.
If you are interested in more detail we photographed an exit sequence of a different dragonfly species in 1999 (with far inferior equipment) which you can see at Dragonfly Emergence sequence

Ref: 20100803_d12_20100624_1228_008 southern hawker dragonfly exuvia side (@ rory morrisey) (rgb) (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 27 Jul 2008 at 13:53    Image of day on 12 Aug 2008

Dragonflies really are incredible creatures. Unlike the one shown a few days ago this is definitely a female. Sexing can be difficult - the colours change with maturity and even with temperature and other characteristics don't appear in photos

Ref: 20080812_da1_20080727_1353_017 southern hawker dragonfly female(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 27 Jul 2008 at 13:59    Image of day on 12 Aug 2008

Here is a head shot with an inset showing the compound eye.
Compound eyes are an array of uni-directional cells rather than lens and retina. Resolution is poor but they have huge angle of view, are lightweight, detect movement quickly, and some detect polarisation (used to navigate by skylight).
More info at Wiki Compound Eye
The streaks on the eye in the main image are Moire (artificial digital patterning) effects at the reduced resolution used in these archives.

Ref: 20080812_da1_20080727_1359_073 southern hawker dragonfly female eye detail (web sized 768)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 23 Aug 2012 at 12:13    Image of day on 06 Oct 2012

Female Southern hawker dragonflies don't systematically patrol ponds like the males do, but hunt around the hedges and rank grass. Here she is hung up on a dead stem.

Ref: 20121006_df1_20120823_1213_004 southern hawker dragonfly female hanging from dead stem (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 11 Aug 2013 at 14:51    Image of day on 05 Oct 2013

This female Southern Hawker dragonfly spent a few minutes indoors for a some in-flight portraits.

Ref: 20131005_da1_20130811_1451_370_ft1 southern hawker dragonfly female in flight (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 23 Aug 2012 at 12:16    Image of day on 06 Oct 2012

This female Southern Hawker dragonfly was flying into a strong wind allowing an unusual 3 images in succession to be in reasonable focus. You can see from the difficulty of seeing the wings against complex background the reason we use a simple 'blue sky' background in the indoor 'flight tunnel'

Ref: 20121006_df1_20120823_1216_060-062 southern hawker dragonfly female in flight @ 7fps 1-3 of 3 (horizontal spread montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 11 Aug 2013 at 14:55    Image of day on 05 Oct 2013

This female Southern Hawker dragonfly spent a few minutes indoors for a some in-flight portraits. She was turning in flight here and partly out of frame.

Ref: 20131005_da1_20130811_1455_387_ft1 southern hawker dragonfly female in flight head-on and sideways (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Aug 2013 at 12:46    Image of day on 27 Sep 2013

This female Southern Hawker Dragonfly laying eggs on the Iris fronds well above (say 0.5 metre) the water surface. We have only previously seen them laying on near water-level sodden dead wood.

Ref: 20130927_df1_20130807_1246_118 southern hawker dragonfly female laying eggs in iris fronds (crop 2)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 24 Aug 2016 at 17:48    Image of day on 12 Oct 2016

A Southern Hawker Dragonfly ovipositing (laying eggs) on Iris fronds in the main pond. She spent about 10 minutes laying all around the pond, but almost every stop was out of view or so shaded that neither we nor the camera could see a thing. Finally she reached the front of the pond pausing for a few seconds that you see here. She first had her ovipositor (tail end) out of sight on the left of the frond, and then on the right as you see here, before flying off into the distance after about 10 seconds and we didn't see her again.

Ref: 20161012_df3_20160824_1748_006 southern hawker dragonfly female laying eggs on iris fronds in main pond 2 of 3 (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 29 Aug 2016 at 12:16    Image of day on 14 Oct 2016

A female Southern Hawker Dragonfly on the Iris fronds on the main pond. Our second sighting this year of this activity but we never seem to get a good view!

Ref: 20161014_df3_20160829_1216_004 southern hawker dragonfly female ovipositing (egg laying) on iris fronds 1 of 3 (crop)(r+mb id@432).jpg

Image Taken on 19 Sep 2012 at 13:14    Image of day on 26 Oct 2012

Hawker dragonflies are very territorial. This is the same insect as above (judging from the wing damage) next day patrolling over the pond. The image has been rearranged and the spacings slightly stretched to illustrate the almost hover.

Ref: 20121026_df1_20120919_1314_266+264+265 southern hawker dragonfly flying over pond 3+1+2 of 3 (re-ordered & spread montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Aug 2009 at 12:45    Image of day on 22 Sep 2009

Repeated attempts at getting a good high speed dragonfly-in-flight sequence got this unexpected moment of interest. The dragonfly spent a moment hovering and in the reaction time to press the shutter to store the last 1 second it turned round on the spot and flew back towards the camera (and then even more out of focus). The entire time for the montage shown was 0.166 second.

Ref: 20090922_cf1_20090808_1245_907+913+917+919 southern hawker dragonfly hover & sudden turning 60fps 13+19+21+23 of 27 (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 04 Oct 2016 at 15:08    Image of day on 19 Nov 2016

A hovering Southern Hawker Dragonfly showing us the crazy wing positions it uses to resist the effects of the wind and control it's position.

Ref: 20161119_df3_20161004_1508_062-065 southern hawker dragonfly hovering 1-4 of 5 (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Jul 2007 at 10:31    Image of day on 15 Aug 2007

This Hawker dragonfly (about 10cm wingspan) landed in a sunny hedge in front of us. To see an image in flight look in the archive for 20 Sep 2006.

Ref: 20070815_d10_20070722_1031_049 southern hawker dragonfly immature male (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 09 Aug 2014 at 15:55    Image of day on 20 Oct 2014

The Southern Hawker Dragonfly making another quick turn - all this in half a second.

Ref: 20141020_df2_20140809_1555_430-433 southern hawker dragonfly in flight turning & flying back 01-04 of 11 (montage @ 7fps)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 09 Aug 2014 at 15:54    Image of day on 20 Oct 2014

A somewhat atypical Southern Hawker Dragonfly that was patrolling this pond from mostly in the shade, turning as each end of his flight took him out into the sunshine. Except in very hot weather (which this wasn't) dragonflies here normally stick to the sunny patches. This first is 1 second of flight. The visual impression of 'instant' change of direction reflects the reality!

Ref: 20141020_df2_20140809_1554_382-386+388-390 southern hawker dragonfly in flight turning & flying back 1-5+7-9 of 9 (approx montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 23 Aug 2011 at 15:59    Image of day on 05 Oct 2011

We watched entranced (and wet) for several minutes as the Southern Hawker Dragonfly placed eggs in various spots. Here you get a good view of her egg laying equipment.

Ref: 20111005_df1_20110823_1559_070 southern hawker dragonfly laying eggs on wet rotten wood by pond side (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 23 Aug 2011 at 15:59    Image of day on 05 Oct 2011

Here is a Southern Hawker Dragonfly laying eggs on a sodden branch left by the edge of the main pond for a couple of years. If you want wildlife, untidiness can be a virtue! We noticed the insects unusual behaviour through the window and stampeded out into the drizzle to see these few minutes for a first time.

Ref: 20111005_df1_20110823_1559_060+062 southern hawker dragonfly laying eggs on wet rotten wood by pond side (montage for focus)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Sep 2016 at 14:26    Image of day on 06 Nov 2016

In a patch of sunshine on a cool day this lovely Dragonfly was on the wing for long enough for us to see him land. He is in remarkably good condition for this late in the summer - normally the wing edges will have been torn on a few thorns by now.

Ref: 20161106_df3_20160918_1426_096 southern hawker dragonfly male(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 20 Aug 2008 at 15:15    Image of day on 05 Sep 2008

A new dragonfly this week - a male Southern Hawker. Quite a beauty and a strong flyer. Windy out, so no hope of photo in a natural setting, so took some indoors before letting him go.

Ref: 20080905_p34_20080820_1515_350 southern hawker dragonfly male(r+mb id@576).jpg




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