Today I headed up north to Wild River State Park,In my opinion Wild River is the best place to find clubtail dragons in Minnesota. This year the dragons seem to be a little behind in emerging from their larval state. I am sure it has to do with the fact that spring began a bit late this year. Odonates, dragonfly and damselfly spend a good portion of their life living in the water during their larval state. When it is finally time to fly the nymph crawls out of the water on to a rock or something and emerges from its skin.
The husk that is left behind is called an exuviae. The top photo is an example of a clubtail exuviae. If you look carefully you can see the hole that the dragonfly emerged from. Once a dragon or damsel emerges they unfurl their wings by pumping them full of hemolymph, insect blood. They then draw the blood back into their body and wait for their wings to dry. At this point they do not have much of their color and are called teneral, immature dragon\damsel. The teneral in the last two pics above is a jewelwing damselfly. Soon its thorax and abdomen will turn metallic green and its wings will change to ebony black. These pictures are ones that I took in the past but today I spotted many tenerals and exuviae most of which were clubtails.