Monday, May 30, 2011

Clamp-tipped Emerald

On Saturday I ventured down the Eno River at Guess Road in Durham, NC. It had rained a lot the day before, the Eno was still up a little, it empties quickly. My first part of the walk was very wet, my pants got soaked walking the trail with wet grass covering the trail.

I found this female Clamp-tipped Emerald, Somatochlora tenebrosa that had recently emerged from its exuvia. In the 12 years or so I have been watching and photographing Odonata this was my third one of this species. I have yet to find a male, odds are I have seen them flying but could not ID them in the past. They lay eggs in small shady streams, I have witnessed a female "hammering" her eggs along small streams before. I suspect this one got washed out of a small stream into the Eno River.

 Clamp-tipped Emerald - Somatochlora tenebrosa

Clamp-tipped Emerald  Exuvia (discarded larval casing)
Near the bottom of her abdomen you can see her ovapositor pointing nearly 90 degrees from her body. Once these dragonflies age they look very dull in comparison to this one.

12 comments:

Meghann said...

That's really cool! I've never seen a discarded shell before.

Where do you get your ID information from? I've photographed a lot of dragon and damsel flies and would love to be able to put a name to them.

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

I'm so impressed you found that! Incredible photos. I love dragonflies.

Randy Emmitt said...

Meghann,

I have several books on dragonflies and Ed Lamm's book on Damselflies. Good book authors include Sid Dunkle and Giff Beaton And John Abbott out in the southwestern US.

Meghann said...

Thanks Randy, I'll have to look those up. :)

Patricia Tryon said...

These photos really evoke the setting you describe. So lovely -- one might even say sublime.

Alison said...

Wow! Amazing photos of this dragonfly! She looks so shiny and new!

Beyond My Garden said...

Wow! Great photos
nellie

Andrea said...

Hi Randy, those are very vivid photos again. We are in the uplands, dry, so less of those Odonata, but we have lots of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. I am glad i still remember these things, taught us long long ago. I haven't seen those exuvia also, if i see them maybe i will think they are exos of cicada. haha!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

What a fantastic find, she looks so fresh and new. Happy birthday little dragonfly. I love the exuvia photo, insects really are fascinating creatures.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

What a great find! Amazing the exuvia is so much smaller. Super pictures.

Alice and Stuart said...

Awesome photos!!! What fun.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Good lord--can you come photograph my garden wildlife?