Dragonflies and Damselflies

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Something you don't catch sight of too often:
A just molted female darter with the shell of the nymph just beside it.
Twas quite difficult to get both on one pic. So some kind of compromise in resolution.
The forewings seemed to be glued together and I didn't have the time to wait, if they could separate. I hope they could.
When I downloaded shots of a Four-spotted Chaser this afternoon, I saw that it had just emerged from its nymph, which is nicely seem below it. Thanks for alerting me to this event!

309A0817-DxO_1000MM_4_spot_Chaser_Dragonfly+Nymph_exo_skel.jpg
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
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Nov 7, 2013
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Another
When I downloaded shots of a Four-spotted Chaser this afternoon, I saw that it had just emerged from its nymph, which is nicely seem below it. Thanks for alerting me to this event!
:p
Great shot.

But are you sure that his is the nymph shell of a chaser?
It looks too small to me.
To me this looks more like the nymph of a damselfly.
Especially when you look at the abdomen I think I can see some gills/ branchiae leafs which would be typical for damselflies.
But still a great combination.

Edit:
In the German article about the four-spotted chaser I found this drawing of the nymph, which looks totally different to the one in your picture.
So it seems that my guess was right.
And I must admit, that I eagerly await the time they will appear here, too. ;)
It seems that we here in Franconia are one or two weeks behind you in the UK as for the cold April and May.
 
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AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Awesome pictures! Were these taken with the R5 and RF 100-500mm?
Yes indeed! This lens is great for me: with one lens I can shoot insects and birds, and it is fantastic close up with the 2x TC on it as well as for long distances.
 

Raptors

EOS M6 Mark II
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Jun 26, 2013
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Yes indeed! This lens is great for me: with one lens I can shoot insects and birds, and it is fantastic close up with the 2x TC on it as well as for long distances.
Thanks Alan. I have been using my EF 100-400mm II (which is still a great lens), but as you stated, you can shoot insects and birds with the 100-500mm with excellent results. I will have to wait as they are out of stock in Canada.
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Another

:p
Great shot.

But are you sure that his is the nymph shell of a chaser?
It looks too small to me.
To me this looks more like the nymph of a damselfly.
Especially when you look at the abdomen I think I can see some gills/ branchiae leafs which would be typical for damselflies.
But still a great combination.

Edit:
In the German article about the four-spotted chaser I found this drawing of the nymph, which looks totally different to the one in your picture.
So it seems that my guess was right.
And I must admit, that I eagerly await the time they will appear here, too. ;)
It seems that we here in Franconia are one or two weeks behind you in the UK as for the cold April and May.
It would appear to be a damselfly exuvia.
 
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AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Thanks Alan. I have been using my EF 100-400mm II (which is still a great lens), but as you stated, you can shoot insects and birds with the 100-500mm with excellent results. I will have to wait as they are out of stock in Canada.
The 100-400 is still a great lens, and the 100-500 is even better close up. With the RF 2xTC, it gives sharper images than my 400mm DO II + 2xTCIII did.
 
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AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Alan, I may have to bite the bullet and buy the RF 2X as well.
Would this be a female Fawn Darner?
Lovely shot, it's not a local dragonfly so I can't say. I haven't used the RF 1.4x since getting the RF 2x. It's either the bare lens or using the full 2x to get the most resolution.
 
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Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
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Nov 7, 2013
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Would this be a female Fawn Darner?
Hi Raptors. First of all a beautiful shot.

I too am not familiar with Canadian dragonflies. But when I looked for a fawn darner (boyeria vinosa) being a member of the family aeshnidae I would say "Definitively no!".
They seem to be much bigger and don't have those prominent black/brown spots on the wings.
Your dragonfly comes from the family libellulidae.
I did some search and came across the female twelve-spotted skimmer (libellula pulchella).
I believe that's it spot on. Try to find a male. They also look beautiful.
 

Raptors

EOS M6 Mark II
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Jun 26, 2013
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Hi Raptors. First of all a beautiful shot.

I too am not familiar with Canadian dragonflies. But when I looked for a fawn darner (boyeria vinosa) being a member of the family aeshnidae I would say "Definitively no!".
They seem to be much bigger and don't have those prominent black/brown spots on the wings.
Your dragonfly comes from the family libellulidae.
I did some search and came across the female twelve-spotted skimmer (libellula pulchella).
I believe that's it spot on. Try to find a male. They also look beautiful.
Hi Maximilian, thank you and thank you for the link.

I have seen this Dragon Fly twice now as it keeps coming back to the same spot. I thought
they prefer still water (ponds) or rivers? Both shots taken in my backyard, no water just bush.
 

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HenryL

EOS R5
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Apr 1, 2020
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Soooo...I'm just the new guy with the damselflies and dragonflies. I have no idea about the ID's for them, heck I still struggle with birds but the Merlin app helps me out there. Anyway, saw these guys while out over the weekend. R5 + 100-500 + 1.4x
R5_102_6696_DxO.jpg

R5_102_6700_DxO.jpg


The bright coloring of this specimen caught my eye. I had to chase it for about 100 yards as it flew off every time I raised the camera.
R5_102_6714_DxO.jpg
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
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Nov 7, 2013
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Soooo...I'm just the new guy with the damselflies and dragonflies. I have no idea about the ID's for them...
Great pics, Henry. A good start for "the new guy" ;)
If you can tell me a little bit more about the shooting location, maybe I get some time and eager to find out who they are :geek:
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
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I have seen this Dragon Fly twice now as it keeps coming back to the same spot. I thought
they prefer still water (ponds) or rivers? Both shots taken in my backyard, no water just bush.
Good observation, Raptors. (y)And if you already know some of the below I hope that I still can tell you something new.

Of course dragonflies and damselflies are attracted to water. They lay their eggs into the water or water plants.
They can be found at ponds and lakes as well as slow-flowing rivers and streams.
They spend a long time underwater as nymph. And as other insects are attracted to water as well, they stay close to the water for hunting them.
But they also stray quite far away from the water in search of prey or maybe even new ponds and lakes.
I sometimes see them deep inside the forest as well.
Once I crashed into one really big hawker while I was cycling through the forest. I was about 30+ km/h fast.
That was shocking. In first I thought I hit a small bird. But then I saw it flying away. And I was lucky wearing sunglasses :cool:

And you can now use that knowledge to anticipate their behavior.
That they tend to come back to same spot for collecting sunlight (they need external energy) or as raised hide for prey.
And when they patrol they often take the same route and come back and you can try to catch them in flight.
But to learn the latter at least I needed really a lot of patience ;)

Most important to me:
Enjoy the moment, look at their aerobatic manoeuvres and keep in mind that their ancestors already did this since the Carboniferous age and almost unchanged for more than 150 mio years. :)
 

HenryL

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 1, 2020
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Great pics, Henry. A good start for "the new guy" ;)
If you can tell me a little bit more about the shooting location, maybe I get some time and eager to find out who they are :geek:
Thanks for your kind words. The park is in southeastern Virginia (First Landing State Park). I was on a trail through the marshy area of the park (GPS coordinates 36°53'15.6005" N 76°0'19.6468" W). Lots of tall grass, just a few trees - it's between the forest and the bay. And thanks for your reply to Raptors - the information you just shared on the behaviors and habits of these subjects will be useful!