Guindon Park, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
July 1, 2011
I decided to revisit the Dragon Pond today and brought along the old Bigma 170 to 500. I usually use the 28 to 300, but experience has proven that its reach is just not quite enough in this situation. The Bigma is a fairly slow lens so a few concessions had to made. I watched the antics of the Wee Dragons for a bit and saw at least three species zooming about, including this one, and they all had a tendency to stop on a reed that was jutting over the water. I prefocused on the reed and waited. Sure enough, one of these landed. Once they’ve done that, you can be pretty sure they’ll come back to the same spot at least a couple of times. This one did not disappoint.
With thanks to imnh.isu.edu
Order Description: Dragonflies
Family Description: Skimmer
Naiad This is a medium to large naiad with a length of 15/16 to 1 1/16 inches (24 to 27 mm). It is dark orange-brown in color, and the abdomen is rounded, giving it a short, stocky appearance known as the sprawler form. There is a small hook on the top of abdominal segments four through seven, and there is a thin, slightly curved, rear-facing spine on each side of abdominal segment eight and nine.
Adult This is a fairly large dragonfly with a length of 2 to 2 ¼ inches (50 to 57 mm). Each wing is marked with three dark spots: one near the base where it attaches to the body, one in the center than nearly spans the width of the wing, and one at the tip. Females and immature males are brownish black. The side of the thorax is marked with two diagonal yellow stripes, and each side of the abdomen is lined with yellow. Mature males are brownish black, faintly marked with yellow, and become pruinose blue on the top of the abdomen. They may also develop a whitish patch on each wing to the outside of the spot next to the body.
This species is found from British Columbia east to Nova Scotia, extending south through most of the U.S., from California east to Florida. It is absent from very dry areas. In Idaho, it occurs throughout most of the state except for the driest portions of the southwest.
This dragonfly occurs near lakes, ponds and marshes, particularly those with exposed shorelines.
Adult Flight Season
Early June to late August
Naiads feed on a wide variety of aquatic insects, such as mosquito larvae, other aquatic fly larvae, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp. They will also eat small fish and tadpoles.
The dragonfly will eat almost any soft-bodied flying insect including mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, moths, mayflies, and flying ants or termites.
Naiads live in the debris on the bottom of lakes, ponds, and marshes. They do not actively pursue prey but wait for it to pass by, a strategy which affords them protection from other predators. Naiads emerge as adults at night. Adults generally fly from early June through August. Hunting occurs from perches on twigs or rocks.
Males establish and defend territories, and are very aggressive towards members of their own species as well as other dragonflies. After males and females mate, the female flies singly, without the male attached, to lay her eggs. She does this by dipping the tip of her abdomen in the shallows of the body of water while hovering just above the water’s surface.
Populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.
Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 170 to 500 at 500 mm
iso 100, spot metered, F6.3, 1/320 second