Sunday, July 4, 2010

Splendid Clubtail

Nature photography, like nature itself, can be broken down into different seasons. The time and length of each season as well as what is available to photograph depends on your location. The weather and other factors can also influence these seasons some what. Here where I live the spring and fall are great times for birding, because of migration. The winter is good to get those winter specialty birds that come down from Canada. Summer is not that great for birding, once all the chicks have fledged. Fortunately for me summer is a good time to photograph dragonflies, butterflies and other insects.
My favorite family of dragonflies to photograph are the clubtails. You can always tell if a dragon is a clubtail right away because they are the only dragons that eyes do not touch. During this time of year I spend quite a bit of time at different locations on the St. Croix River, such as St Croix State Park, Wild River State Park and Carpenter Nature Center. Many clubtails are river dragonflies and the St Croix is very good habitat. The dragons in the photos above are splendid clubtails. You can tail by the side spots on sections 8 and 9 and the lack of any top spots on sections 8 through 10, the clubbed sections, of the abdomen. With their large size and strong flight they often prey on other large dragonflies, such as skimmers and other clubtails. These splendid dragons where photographed at Wild River State Park.

7 comments:

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Beautiful macro.

Darryl and Ruth : )

Kala said...

Lovely detail - dragonflies are so beautiful.

AL said...

Ohh dragonflies! It reminds me of my childhood days, but I have been very mean to them then, but they're one of my favorite creature aside from skippers!

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

It looks like it's made of gold! Beautiful.

DAPPLED SUNLIGHT on Plumbago Blossom I'd love to have you visit with me today if you can.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

I just love dragonflies and it's so special to be able to capture them up close and personal. These are wonderful shots.

centuryplant said...

That same pattern -- yellow side spots on 8 and 9, no top spots on 8 through 10 -- is common to the Splendid, Cobra, and Skillet Clubtails, all of which are found on the St. Croix. Your first photo is definitely a Cobra, as shown by the pattern on the top of the thorax -- wide brown stripes and narrow yellow ones -- and by the fact that the side-spot on segment 8 does not touch the bottom edge of the club. I believe though that the second photo is indeed Splendid, since the side-spot on 8 does touch.

I envy you the photo since I've been unsuccessfully trying to see a Splendid for a while now. They seem rarer on the St. Croix than the other two species.

Andrée said...

I love photographing them (or trying to!), also. These are beautiful photos.
http://meeyauw-pad.blogspot.com/2010/07/macro-monday-fistulous-goatsbeard.html