D-n-D without the Caffeine

Female: Pachydiplax longipennis - Blue Dasher

Being stuck inside all day mostly without even windows to gaze longingly, I force myself at lunch to take a quick walk around the building. Up until a couple of months ago I would have had binoculars in hand at all times and gone walking farther in search of more birds. Luckily, I’ve been slowing down and finding that an assortment of creatures call this place home. Today, while I was already out with only a cell phone in hand, I decided to try taking a couple of pictures of the dragonflies and damselflies that are migrating through right now. Not the greatest pictures I’ve ever taken but not to shabby for a cell phone.

Ischnura verticalis - Eastern Forktail

Interesting thing about the Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)… they are aquatic as juveniles. Most of the group lay eggs in stagnant (read pond) water on submerged vegetation or dropped in while skimming by. The little larvae hatch out and spend the fall and winter tucked into the leafy gunk on the bottom catching and eating other insects. When the water warms up the immature dragonflies crawl out of the water on some nearby plant and molt into adult dragonflies.

Perithemis tenera - Eastern Amberwing

Ever wonder about their legs? Well, if you haven’t, take a look at the pictures, they aren’t quite set-up like other insect legs. Dragonfly legs are all oriented to form a basket, that allows these predators to fly around and catch smaller insects into the leg basket for their next meal. Don’t worry, there will be better pictures and more information to come in another post some day! I am definitely not an expert on this group so please let me know if I made a bad identification.


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