Monday, July 2, 2012

Dragonfly Obelisks and Cannibals

 Saturday was Springbrook's annual dragonfly count day.  We saw many, and learned interesting things.  This Twelve Spotted Skimmer was on the Beaver Pond trail pond.  This is a male based on the white spots, which the females don't have.

Down below is a Blue Dasher sitting in the "obelisk" position.  Some dragonflies point their abdoman directly at the sun to reduce their exposure and potential over-heating.
 The Blue Dasher moves his body up until his shadow is the smallest it can get.  The smaller
shadow means less exposure to the sun.
 A different Blue Dasher wasn't watching close enough and this Eastern Pond Hawk dragonfly ate him for lunch.  The wings of the Blue Dasher are in the middle and smaller than the Pond Hawk's, so size means survival in this dragonfly eat dragonfly world. Cannibalism is an everyday occurance in this habitat.
This beautiful Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly, along with several other species of damselflies, were also seen on the hike.  This is a female, which is made known by the white spots on the end of the wings. 

Dragonflies all hold their wings out flat all the time, while damselflies bring their wings together over their backs when at rest.

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