Dragonflies and Damselflies

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,474
2,315
Germany
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!
The green and blue one was easy to find: it's a male eastern pondhawk (erythemis simplicicollis)
The other one is more tricky, esp. because they are difficult to compare at this angle from below, which i normally really like.
My guess is that it could be a female blue dasher (pachydiplax longipennis)
By the way: Did you use some fill flash or macro light on those two?
 

HenryL

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 1, 2020
242
593
The green and blue one was easy to find: it's a male eastern pondhawk (erythemis simplicicollis)
The other one is more tricky, esp. because they are difficult to compare at this angle from below, which i normally really like.
My guess is that it could be a female blue dasher (pachydiplax longipennis)
By the way: Did you use some fill flash or macro light on those two?
Wow, that was fast - thank you, Maximillian! No flash or fill or any kind other than what Mother Nature provided. It was a bright day but lots of hazy cloud cover and shade. Is there a real good online resource for identification that you can recommend, thinking along the lines of allboutbirds.org or the Merlin app for phones?
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,474
2,315
Germany
Wow, that was fast - thank you, Maximillian!
Maybe pure luck ;)
I just searched for the colors and location Virginia and then scanned through pics displayed.

No flash or fill or any kind other than what Mother Nature provided.
Thanks for the reply. The reflection on the compound eye looked a little bit artificial, like flash. But it could also be from the bright sun.
I sometimes also use flash or ring light on insects, although I try to avoid this with any other animals.

Is there a real good online resource for identification that you can recommend, thinking along the lines of allboutbirds.org or the Merlin app for phones?
Sorry, but I haven't found anything like a good app yet.
For Germany/Europe I have a good classification book in my shelf and I know a German website (libellen.tv) where you can search e.g. for colors.
But that is in German only and most dragonflies/damselflies displayed are from Europe.
A quick search brought me here (dragonfly-site.com) from where you are linked to pages by region. Maybe that helps to continue.

If you find something better, share that info here :)
 
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Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,474
2,315
Germany
Is there a real good online resource for identification that you can recommend, thinking along the lines of allboutbirds.org or the Merlin app for phones?
took a look into the app store and found this, for US and Canada:
I have no experience with it. Maybe someone else can give feedback.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,800
2,342
Alberta, Canada
took a look into the app store and found this, for US and Canada:
I have no experience with it. Maybe someone else can give feedback.
I have the, Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West, by Dennis Paulson, which is excellent but North America. It's very comprehensive and the photos, a bit on the small side, are numerous.

Jack
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,305
10,431
Common Blue Damselflies and a Red-Eyed Damselfly taken with the RF 800mm + 1.4xTC.

309A4548-DxO_1120mm_common_blue_damselfys.jpg
309A4671-DxO_1120mm_red_eyed_damselfly_LS2.jpg
 

tron

EOS R5
CR Pro
Nov 8, 2011
4,915
1,256
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.
I assume you mean the 100-500 :ROFLMAO: Because the use of plural made me wonder momentarily about the availability of insects :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: Sorry I could not resist :D
 

Raptors

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Jun 26, 2013
79
31
Canada
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. :)
Hi Maximilian, you learn something new everyday. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.

I am a sports photographer so getting “the shot” is more than just luck, or being in the right place at the right time, it’s knowing the sport and being able to anticipate the shot before it happens.

I was always told, one of the most important tools in wildlife photography is fieldcraft. Again, knowing the subject, spending time watching and learning its behaviour, habits etc. I can’t count how many days I have come home without any images, but just being out with nature is amazing.

Thanks again,
Raptors

Knowledge is power!
 

JBSF

EOS 90D
Dec 19, 2014
122
60
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
View attachment 198170
View attachment 198171

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.
View attachment 198172
Henry,

Your dragonfly with the beautifully marked thorax is a female Bar-winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena). An R5 and 100-500 are not in my budget, but these photos make me envious.
 
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Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,474
2,315
Germany
Today I went out at the ponds again. It was a warm week and I was finally awaiting the dragonflies but didn't see any of them.
Not over the water not in the reed.
But then I saw those and knew they were there:

exuvia_1.JPG

exuvia_2.JPG