Breaking through....

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

Breaking through....

Post by Erland R.N. »

.... and pulling legs.

I've been to Sweden the last four days. Maybe only 10 hours of sun in all, but pretty warm. The absence of sun forced us to look for more than dragonflies. A lot was emerging though, and the day we got there it rained, but the late afternoon was fine, and we saw six larga Aeshna dragonflies emerging. Surprising to see that this late in the day, but the day probably started with the ending of the rain, from a dragonflies perspective (and for a macro photographer too).

Next day one of my friends found a larvae on land, which he picked up because he thought it was an empty larvae shell (exuvia). As it became clear it was a larvae ready to emerge, he put it on a vertical support and hoped it would get a good grip and start emerge. We had doubts though, as the larvae only had good grip with three of the six legs.

Out it came though, and now we could with certainty see that it was a Libellula quadrimaculata. But while hanging in the empty shell, with the end of the abdomen still inside, the wind caught the insect and it dropped to the ground.

We picked it up by the exuvia, and carried the fragile thing to the garden table, where we placed it on a near-vertical support, and tied some of the exuvia's legs to it. Two and a half hours later the dragonfly was fully expanded, and probably flew away shortly after opening it's wings.

Here's two photos taken from above, just as the head broke through the larvae shell, and the legs was pulled out.
Canon 5D, Sigma 150, 33% crop
iso 1600, f/10m 1/100 s.

Same as above but 1/125 s.

Hope you enjoy these photos.


Ken Ramos
Posts: 7208
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:12 pm
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

Post by Ken Ramos »

Gee...those are some really neat shots there Erland. :D Why I have never seen the like, well though to have photographed it. I always seem to miss neat stuff like this, I need to get out more. Really interesting! :D

Bruce Williams
Posts: 1120
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:41 pm
Location: Northamptonshire, England

Post by Bruce Williams »

An enviable experience Erland and two most unusual and well executed photographs. I hope that you are you going to treat us to more in the series.

Bruce =D>

Mike B in OKlahoma
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:32 pm
Location: Oklahoma City

Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

What a great opportunity! I've come by moments after this happened, but never seen it myself. Well done.
Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."

Posts: 3578
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:19 am
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

Post by beetleman »

WOW Erland, what an incredible pair of photos. The second one is amazing. He will have to pull his face together.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

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

Post by Erland R.N. »

Thank you alle for comments.
Bruce, I might find some more pictures from this emergence, and make a new post. As I've seen emergence quite often for this species, I went and took some unusual angles on the insect, like those above.
Doug, it is really amazing how all the mouth pieces are in a strange position, compared to a couple of hours later.


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