Taken at Mud Lake, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 May 11
The life cycle of a dragonfly larva begins as a nymph and live in the water while they grow and develop into dragonflies. This portion of the dragonfly life cycle can take up to four years to complete.
Dragonfly nymphs live in ponds or marshy areas because the waters are calmer than in a stream or river. Dragonfly nymphs may eat smaller dragonfly nymphs as they develop.
Once the nymph is fully grown, and the weather is right, it will complete the metamorphosis into a dragonfly by crawling out of the water up the stem of a plant. The nymph will shed its skin onto the stem of the plant and will then be a young dragonfly. The skin that the nymph left behind is called the exuvia and you can find the exuvia still stuck to the stem for a long time after the dragonfly has left it.
While I was observing this wonderful transformation today, predators were well aware of what was happening such as muskrats and cedar waxwings.