Return to moorhen home page

Return to section index

Image-of-the-Day by Subject

Dragonflies & Damselflies Page 15

Image Taken on 04 Oct 2022 at 13:54    Image of day on 07 Nov 2022

Although the peak temperatures are dropping Common Darter Dragonflies still look for warm places (like this corrugated iron sheet).

Ref: 20221107_df3_20221004_1354_087 common darter dragonfly mature male (on corrugated iron sheet)(r+mb id@576).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 06 Oct 2022 at 09:41    Image of day on 07 Nov 2022

This over-mature Common Darter Dragonfly surprised us before 10 a.m. on the warm east wall of the house, in the sunshine and sheltered from a cold and fierce wind from the west.

Ref: 20221107_d72_20221006_0941_006 common darter dragonfly over-mature female warming on east wall of house(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 06 Sep 2020 at 16:20    Image of day on 20 Oct 2020

Sunning itself on a piece of Corrugated Iron, this Common Darter Dragonfly shows the wing structure well against the weathered metal.

Ref: 20201020_df3_20200906_1620_023 common darter dragonfly perched in weak sunshine on corrugated iron sheet(r+mb id@768).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 05 Sep 2021 at 13:31    Image of day on 19 Oct 2021

After a slow start we have been seeing quite a lot of Hawker and (here) Darter Dragonflies. Hawker Dragonflies generally fly about catching prey as they go, but Darter Dragonflies choose a well placed stick end where they wait for some suitable midge to fly by, dart out to catch it, and then (the useful bit for a photographer) often return to exactly the same perch a few seconds later. Here this one returns - over the 300mS of the left 3 pics the legs move from full folded for flight to fully extended for landing.
Undercarriage Down!

Ref: 20211019_df3_20210905_1331_172-174+176 common darter female flying to land on top of stem 1-3+5 of 5 (spread montage @7fps)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 20 Sep 2020 at 12:08    Image of day on 06 Nov 2020

A lovely old lady - a Common Darter Dragonfly, seeing out her days.

Ref: 20201106_d73_20200920_1208_039 common darter female over mature(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 26 Sep 2023 at 15:40    Image of day on 12 Nov 2023

One of several Common Hawker Dragonflies that spend time on this corrugated iron sheet, this female gives a double dose of her lovely wings - the real wings echoed in the shadow on the iron.

Ref: 20231112_df3_20230926_1540_063 common hawker dragonfly female on sun warmed corrugated iron(r+mb id@576).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 20 May 2020 at 12:43    Image of day on 18 Jun 2020

Over the meadow area there are dozens of these Azure Damselflies. This is a male in flight.

Ref: 20200618_d73_20200520_1243_013 damselfly azure male in flight(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 21 Jul 2021 at 11:09    Image of day on 28 Aug 2021

We last saw an Emerald Damselfly in 2010 - 11 years ago. This female landed a few metres up a tree and this is the best pic we could get. In the 2010 session we took images of both sexes in our 'flight tunnel' - you can see them at 26 Sep 2010 and 2 Oct 2010.

Ref: 20210828_d73_20210721_1109_128 emerald damselfly female (crop)(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




Comments and requests for image use

To make a comment, ask for information or to request a full resolution image, send us an email including the reference or the date for the image you are interested in.

All initial contacts should be made using the icon below:-

Mail Us