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Dragonflies Eclosing

5-26-16  dragonfly eclosing2  347 The sudden hot weather seems to have triggered a mass emergence of dragonflies and damselflies.  The emerging vegetation along the shores of ponds is covered with larval Odonates (members of the order of insects that includes dragonflies and damselflies) metamorphosing into adults.  The adults, still in the skin of their last larval stage, crawl out of the water, climb up vegetation, rocks, etc., and split the back of their larval skin.  The adult flips backwards out of this opening, hangs upside down and then grasps the vegetation and/or empty larval skin while as its abdomen is released.  The dragonfly hangs in the breeze while it pumps air into its body, sending liquid into its wings.

To appreciate this process called eclosion, compare the size of the wings in the photo insert (recently-emerged adult) with those in the larger photograph, which was taken twelve minutes after emergence.  Within a day or so the sheen on the newly-formed wings goes away, the dragonfly’s body hardens and colors start to appear.

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2 responses

  1. Wow, amazing shots! So cool. 🙂

    On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 5:45 AM, Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” The sudden hot weather seems to have triggered a > mass emergence of dragonflies and damselflies. The emerging vegetation > along the shores of ponds is covered with larval Odonates (members of the > order of insects that includes dragonflies and damselflies)” >

    May 26, 2016 at 9:52 pm

  2. What a marvellous moment to capture! And you have captured it so perfectly!

    July 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm

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