Sunday, January 31, 2010

Darner Dragonflies

Dragonflies are fierce predators through out their life. Most of a dragonflies life is spent under water in their larval form. This typically take one to three years. Even at this early stage in their development they are already on the hunt. Almost anything that moves in the water is potential prey, including mosquito larva, aquatic insects, other dragonfly larva, tadpoles and small fish.
The larva eat with a voracious appetite. As they grow they go through a series of molts until they are ready to emerge. At this point they go into a rest state for a day or two, called diapause, when the finally changes between aquatic and flight form take place. These photos are of a type of blue darner dragon. Unfortunately I was unable to get a good shot of the side stripes on the thorax and so I can not identify it. It was taken in the Minnesota Valley NWR in October.

5 comments:

sweet bay said...

I had no idea that Dragonflies had such a long larval stage. They are such beautiful insects.

KaHolly said...

Very nicely written. Easy to understand and interesting for the non-dragonfly geek!! Beautiful pictures today, too! Don't you just get so frustrated when your pictures aren't quite the right angle for an i.d.? I was canoeing on a lake last summer when the bluets were emerging. It was so exciting, I kept forgetting to paddle!!

Kcalpesh said...

Wonderful details! Macro at it's best!

Pixellicious Photos

Vicki ~ FL said...

Great macro shots...

leonnybg said...

Super macro photos. I like them. Greeting form Bulgaria!