Saturday, August 30, 2008

BIG Dragonflies

Despite its striking colours this large dragonfly was nevertheless well concealed against the tangled background of vegetation.

Maybe it was torpid because it was early in the morning. Or perhaps it hasn’t been long since it emerged from its nymphal skin and wasn’t wholly adjusted to its new life as a creature of the air. Mosaic Darners or Blue Darners (Aeshna sp.) are wary insects, capable of staying on the wing for hours on end while sustaining high cruising speeds. As a rule they cannot be approached this closely.

Blue darners can be hard to tell apart and the lateral markings would help nail down the species. Unfortunately the dragonfly didn't want to co-operate, so I'll just call this Aeshna sp. and leave it at that. (Edit: Since originally posting this I have acquired field guides and zoomed in on the original photo, and S10 is entirely black, identifying this as Aeshna tuberculifera, the Black-tipped Darner).

The female Fawn Darner (Boyeria vinosa) depicted below had a run in with the local traffic and was a little easier to pose for the photos. She's not too badly hurt and should make a complete recovery.