Dancing Jewel

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Erland R.N.
Posts: 335
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:20 pm
Location: Kolding, Denmark

Dancing Jewel

Post by Erland R.N. »

I have been to South Africa, mainly to photograph dragonflies. Managed to see 64 species, and photograph 59. I only toured around the most north-eastern part of the country, but that's where diversity is greatest regarding Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies).

There are several species that are exotic for a northern European guy, but one species is just so different in shape, from what I normally see, and the colours of the male is awesome. It's a damselfly, but with a very unusual body shape, not with the normal thin abdomens most species have.
Platycypha caligata (Dancing Jewel), male.
13/12 2006, Nwanedzi River, Limpopo, South Africa.
5D, sigma 150+1,4, slightly cropped to 3600 pixels width.


Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:02 am
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Post by Carl_Constantine »

wow, nice color gradients too. I've never seen a multi-colored dragon/damsel before. Nice capture.
Carl B. Constantine

Bill D
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:51 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Post by Bill D »

That is just a Top Notch photo! The subject is colorful, exposure is perfect, composition is great, and I love the bokeh!
Last edited by Bill D on Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 8:53 am
Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Post by Moebius »


This is a top notch photo with incredible color and sharpness. If I had to find a gripe at all it would be that I wish there was a little more free space on the right hand side. Look at the colors on that guy!

I see over the past few months that you have an affinity for Odonata, both in photographing them and identification. Was this trip then to further your collection of Odonata sightings/photographs? How many countries around the world have you collected sightings/photographs?

Do you have a website to display all your Odonata photos?

Ken Nelson

Erland R.N.
Posts: 335
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:20 pm
Location: Kolding, Denmark

Post by Erland R.N. »

Thank you all three for comments.

This species (and more from the family) have a quite unique behaviour, as the males will show of it's red and white legs to a female, by waving them while he is in flight, "asking" for mating oppertunity. They will show them off to competing males too, which I was able to see once on my trip.

Ken, maybe I should not have cropped it so tight, as I had some more distance to the edge from the wings. It's cropped most left side and top, just to maximize details in this 800 pixel size.

I do have a big interest in odonates, 95 % of my macro photos are on this subject, and I read everything I can get my hands on. I really see it as a challenge each time I can try and identify a species. I do have a general interest in all insects though.

I mostly photograph close to home in Denmark, but have photographed in Sweden, Texas and California too. Well add to that South Africa now.

Denmark has about 55 species, Sweden about the same.
Texas (and neighboring states) has more than 300.
California has 108 or a few more.
South Africa has about 166, further north in e.g. Tanzania, there may be more than 400.

My website about dragonflies can be seen if clicking my name (my profile), but I haven't added a report about South Africa yet.


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Location: UK

Post by puzzledpaul »

Erland - Reading this thread made me feel very nostalgic as I spent a total of 4 yrs working in Africa (not South) in the 70's.

I had a brief browse thro' your site and you have a very fine collection of photos there (+ some interesting reading) - superb stuff, well done :)


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Post by beetleman »

Unbelievable looking damselfly Erland....the colors are fantastic looking and the background is perfect. :wink:
Last edited by beetleman on Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

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Location: Albany, Oregon

Post by svalley »

Erland, awesome shot. Odonates are my favoite subject also. Those white legs are cool. Amazing all the different mating behaviors in the odonates.
"You can't build a time machine without weird optics"
Steve Valley - Albany, Oregon

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