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Damselflies & Dragonflies Eclosing

6-10-19 damselfly emerging 0U1A0216It’s time to check emerging vegetation along the shores of ponds for adult damselflies and dragonflies emerging from their larval skins (eclosing). Fully developed aquatic larvae crawl up out of the water onto emergent vegetation and rocks, split the back of their skin and emerge as winged adults.

As the adult slowly pulls itself up and out of its larval skin two things are immediately apparent. Newly eclosed dragonflies and damselflies lack pigment, and they are extremely vulnerable to predation as they hang clutching their old skin, pumping air into their body and liquid into their expanding wings. These newly-eclosed adults must wait in this position, unable to escape predators, until their wings dry and they can fly. (Photo: damselfly eclosing. Note diminutive size of cream-colored wings before they expand.)

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One response

  1. Alice Pratt

    Awesome photo! It seems there’s always something to see at a pond. Last Thursday one of our cats was looking thru the ballusters of the deck…it was dinnertime for the kitties, he wouldn’t come in..I looked & there was a very large painted turtle! I brought it to the pond to release it & saw a deer, who snorted & then bolted. Last Friday, Grand daughter & I got to the area where the small pond is, just after our back yard. I said: let’s whisper. “Why?” So we’ll see some wildlife…we rounded a bend & a Great blue heron arose from the water with a good sized fish in it’s mouth? I told her it’s w.s. is 6′, which is as tall as your uncle!

    June 10, 2019 at 9:14 am

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