Sunday, April 1, 2012

Green Darner

green darner dragonfly While I was out this afternoon I spotted my first dragonflies of the year. I spotted over a half a dozen green darners patrolling the water at the Minnesota Valley Refuge. The green darner is usually the first dragonfly that we see each year because some of them migrate south in the fall. This is not a full migration like birds do, the darners life span is not long enough, it is a partial migration similar to monarch butterflies. The dragonflies head south where they mate, lay eggs and then die. The eggs hatch into underwater nymphs. In the green darner it only takes about 3 months before the nymphs are ready to emerge and become dragonflies. Some of these newly emerged dragonflies head back north where they will mate and then lay eggs and die. Their offspring will be emerging at the end of summer just in time to migrate south. This year they seemed to have arrived a bit earlier then most years probably because of the early spring and mild winter we have had this year. I did not get any pictures of those that I spotted today. At this time of year they spend a lot of time hunting and rarely stop to pose for photos. This pic was taken in the refuge in the summer

1 comment:

Libby Rodriguez said...

This is a REALLY great shot, and really good information, as well. I was reading today that projectnoah(dot)org needs people to take shots of different plants and animals and send them in so that scientists can track and help them.