Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Summer dragons

Every summer, we look forward to seeing our favorite flying insects: dragonflies. Many species can be found in and around NYC. Below are a few of our favorites from this past summer.

Twelve-Spotted Skimmer:  This one was seen on Governors Island and indulged us by posing for a few minutes.
 
 
 
 
 
Yellow-Sided Skimmer:  Also seen on Governors Island.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The ubiquitous Blue Dasher:  This one is a male, identifiable by his blue eyes.
 
 
 
 
This is a female:
 
 
 
 
These two were observed at Jamaica Bay performing their mating ritual. In the photo below, the male is flying in front, while he hangs on to the females neck with a "clamp" on the end of his body. She hangs on to him with her forelegs.
 
 
The male flies the female low over the water so she can dip her abdomen into the water and deposit her eggs. This takes half a second, then the male lets go of her and the female must pull herself up and not be dragged down into the water. In the photo below, the male has just released the female.
 

 
 
 
 
 
Check out this fascinating video which shows the entire life cycle of a dragonfly. The macro photography is incredible.
 

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