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Sympetrum pedemontanum - female

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 11 August 2010 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

I showed a male specimen in yesterday's image so more info on the species can be found there. Females are yellowish or pale brown colored and the pterostigma is cream. Kristen asked in a comment on yesterday's image for more detail in the wings... so for todays female I chose a more wing-orientated image. Like most of the Sympetrum species wings are mostly held to the front while resting. That is why the focal plane runs from the eyes though the wings. Left and right wings seem a bit asymmetrical in this image. This optical effect is due to the wind, comming from the right, pushing the right wings a little to the inside. I observed this female for nearly an hour. She regularly flew away but always returned to exactly the same spot within a few minutes. So a tip for those who wants to make images of dragonflies: don't go chasing after them when they fly away - most of the time they are too fast. First observe, try to find their resting-spot and just wait for them to return... they (nearly) always do... It will save you some energy and meanwhile you have time to set up a tripod and prepare for a good image ...

Image: Mol (BE) - 06/08/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/400 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

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Catherine from Seoul, South Korea

Lovely and golden ^^ - great detail too

11 Aug 2010 5:22am

@Catherine: Thanks very much, Catherine.

Don Levesque from Canada

Beautiful macro! Love the green background.

11 Aug 2010 6:03am

@Don Levesque: Thank you very much for visiting my blog and your comment. I'm happy you like this image.

Christine from Duns, United Kingdom

Fabulous shot, love the information and thank you for a great tip. :)

11 Aug 2010 6:54am

@Christine: You're welcome, Christine. Wich you good luck on your next dragonfly-trip :-)

Julie from Le Cannet des Maures, France

tout simplement superbe

11 Aug 2010 7:04am

@Julie: It is just a so wonderfull species. The details on the wings are so nice that is was realy hard to stop making images.

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

thanks for the tip ! so beautiful wings

11 Aug 2010 7:10am

@Veronique: My pleasure, Veronique. It was the first time I saw this species in real and it is far more beautiful than images can display.

Cosmin from Bucharest, Romania

nice macro

11 Aug 2010 10:23am

@Cosmin: Thank you very much, Cosmin.

marc battault from clermont ferrand, France

magnifique !!! belle capture ,bien parallele a la branche !!
5 etoiles ,c'est splendide !
amitiés !

11 Aug 2010 3:53pm

@marc battault: Thanks again for your visit, comment and apreciation, Marc. Nice greetings to you.

Marilla from Turku, Finland

Wonderful details!

11 Aug 2010 4:57pm

@Marilla: Thanks again, Marilla.

Loner from Wörgl, Austria

Hallo, Johan ! Jetzt hast du auch noch das Weibchen der Gebänderten Heidelibelle fotografieren können. Ich gratuliere dir zu diesem Foto ! Ich habe mir heute den Füß gebrochen und kann leider in nächster Zeit vom Fotografieren nur träumen. LG Sonja

11 Aug 2010 8:35pm

@Loner: Sonja, first of all, let me wish you a soon healing on your foot ! This is just one of the worst-case-scenario's for a nature-photographer. About these images: I was able to spend nearly the entire day within a population of this species so I had enough time to observe and make images to document the species. I was just lucky to find the population soon after I left the car. I think there were about 30 specimen flying in the neighbourhood of a nearly dried pool (hard to count the exact number). I even was able to make some images from the mating-wheel (copulation) and saw some females during ponderation (but to far away to make good images - should have needed a telescope then :-D ). For me such a day is ... holiday (or should I say "holy-day").
Hope you will recover very fast !!!

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Nice perspective here, Johan. It is difficult to get both the body and the wings sharp on dragonflies. Good advice about not chasing them.

12 Aug 2010 2:09am

@Julie Brown: Sharpness in an image is very relative I think. I think it is not nescessary to get the whole dragonfly, damselfly, butterfly, ... sharp (except for a determination book :-) )

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

It's wonderful! What are those little.. reflective areas on the wingtips? They seem to catch the sunlight and cast if off again. I saw some dragonflies on our last photowalk in July before my camera died. They were too far away and in the water to get detail but I did see this flash of light as their wings moved. I would guess this part of the wing is responsible for that? And.. thank you for posting this one too! :)

12 Aug 2010 3:12am

@Dutçh: "The little reflective areas on the wingtips" is called "pterostygma" (I referred to these a few times already in my descriptions). Wikipedia says: "The pterostigma is a cell in the outer wing of insects which is often thickened or coloured and so stands out from other cells. It is particularly noticeable in dragonflies, but present also in other insect groups, such as snakeflies, hymenopterans and megalopterans. The purpose of the pterostigma, being a heavier section of the wing in comparison to nearby sections, is to assist in gliding. Without the pterostigma, self-exciting vibrations would set in on the wing after a certain critical speed, making gliding impossible." - I can't explain better (certainly not in English). The color of the pterostygma is often a diagnostic feature for dragonflies and damselflies but be carefull: young specimen hava not full colored pterostygmata, so mostly they are white or creamy, but some adult species show this color too.

Skyriani from Nelson, New Zealand

love the flash of light on the wings

12 Aug 2010 6:45am

@Skyriani: Light is always the prominent element in an image ... so I pay much attention to that.

simplyDoTa from Manila, Philippines


12 Aug 2010 7:14am

@simplyDoTa: Thanks !

Canon EOS 400D
1/400 second
ISO 200
150 mm