Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Common Garden Dragonfly

This is the Blue Dasher,Pachydiplax longipennis also called Blue Pirate. I'm posting this article because I found a similar species from across the big pond, OK really big pond over in Malaysia. Sabah from the Dragons and Damsels blog posted a recent sighting of a Brachydiplax chalybea which looks a lot like our common Blue Dasher.

The above Blue Dasher male is obelisking. Males are IDed by the striping on the thorax and blue abdomen with the black tip. These are usually about 1 1/2 inches long on the small side for a dragonfly. This dragonfly shows up inthe spring and can be found commonly until late fall.
Females are much more plain as you can see from the photo above.

Here is a Blue Dasher emerging from the nymph stage by splitting from the exoskeleton.

It has just jumped out of its exuvia

Now the body and wing expand as it becomes an adult.

Here you can see red water mites covering the abdomen, this happens to a few dragonflies once in a while.
The male Blue Dasher perching on a friends yard art.


Tatyana said...

Oooohhhh, those beautiful blue eyes, on the first picture. I would fall in love with them if I was a dragonfly. It is a nice break after watching cold white flies in my window. Thanks, Randy!

Janet said...

Randy, those are fabulous photos. Really fabulous.

Gail said...

Incredible photos...How long do they live? I saw a really wonderful nature show that talked about May Flies having enough energy to fly half an hour. That's all the time they get to mate..then die! gail

Heather said...

Hi Randy- I am always impressed by the amazing photos you are able to capture. You must have unrivaled patience. Something I know nothing about:) Hope your weather is holding out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Randy~~ I've been meaning to visit your blog but I can't always keep things straight here in the blog world. Thank you for your hints post on my blog. Appreciate it.

I have two ponds. The outer pond plays host to lots of dragonflies. I don't mind the little damsel flies but sometimes the dragonflies are too big for my comfort zone. I've seen red ones which I guess are pretty rare and the blues are like jewels. They must lay eggs in my pond but I don't see eggs or nymphs.

Great photos. Thanks again. I'll be back. :)

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

Amazing photos! You must either wait a long time to catch these pictures or happen to be in the right place at the right time.
Very interesting!

Kanak Hagjer said...

I've never seen dragonflies emerging like that. These photos are really amazing. The blue one looks stunning! Fantastic shots!

Randy Emmitt said...

Tatyana, Janet and Heather,
Thank you so much, I do work hard at getting photos of nature.

I'm not sure how long these guys live maybe a month, they are seen all summer in several broods.

Betting your ponds have lots of dragons and damsels. Look for the exuvias along the edges on twigs, grass and tree trunks. I've been around dragons up close for about 10 years never have any bitten me, so don't be afraid.

The trick to getting these types of photos is patience, most will have a favorite perch that they defend, given a minute or two they will return to it and let you get a photo.

The trick to getting most of my emerging photos is a walk out to the pond about 10pm with a strong light and find them crawling up onto something to emerge, I cut the vegetation and carry it inside under light to photograph. Meg found a rare dragon that is only found in North and South Carolina emerging on the sandy shore of a lake last year.

Shady Gardener said...

What a beautiful dragonfly and what wonderful photos! Thank you. :-)

Bren said...

I am loving your photography - Look at that pathway! I could just jump right into it and enjoy the sights and sounds of spring! Thank you for sharing your world with us.

Gallicissa said...

Hi Randy and Meg,

Greetings from Sri Lanka!
What a nice sequence of shots.
You have an amazing blog with lots of subject matter got my liking! Were these shots of emergence of Blue Dasher taken at nighttime?

Randy Emmitt said...


The emerging Blue dasher shots were taken at night in the house under lights I set up. Most of our dargonflies here emerge at night.

Dragonchaser said...

Hi Randy,

Yes, they look remarkably alike, both male and female. I guess all of us only live around the same Big Pond!



CiNdEe said...

Beautiful photos!!!!
My duck loves to eat dragonflies! They are her favorite little snack! I will show her the pictures and see which one she would like best(-:
CiNdEeS' GaRdEn

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