Thursday, June 23, 2005

Pondlife


Waterlilies

I thought I'd start off with something pretty in this post. Several people commented on the recent Four-spotted Chaser pics, saying how it looked like an alien. Well, if you're easily scared, perhaps you'd better not scroll down to the bottom of this post...




Large Red Damselfly

No, those lovelies aren't what I'm talking about.

When monsters attack:



This is the shell of a recently-emerged dragonfly (probably a Four-spotted Chaser). The technical name is an 'exuvia'. Dragonfly nymphs spend years living in ponds (they're quite fierce, even eating small fish) before they make the transformation into adult insects.

They creep out of the water, usually onto a plant stem, and literally climb out of their own skins before drying their wings and starting the delicate, short, final stage of their lives...

This page has a great sequence of pics which demonstrates the process beautifully.

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995