The ‘Birth’ of a Dragonfly

Two posts in one week?  What have you lucky people done to deserve this.  As you know I have been avidly ‘pond watching’ of late as the dragon and damselflies have been emerging, in the case of the Large Red Damselflies in good numbers.  One of my aims was to capture the moment a dragonfly left it’s watery home of the last two years and ‘transformed’ into a winged beauty.  Well this morning I got my wish…..

The larvae climbs an Iris leaf
After getting a good grip the thorax splits and the emergence begins
Next the head appears
Then the body
Almost there. At this point it took a rest and started pumping up the body to full size
With a deft forward flip and it’s out
Next task get them wings inflated
Ta-dah! A newly minted Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa). The new wings will have the fluids pumped into them after which they will then open to the typical cross position.

This whole process from start to finish took two hours and was fascinating to watch.  I then had to go out.  When I returned a couple of hours later the dragon had flown.  Earlier this week I witnessed a damselfly emerging, in contrast to the dragon it took only fifteen minutes!

Have a great weekend!

55 thoughts on “The ‘Birth’ of a Dragonfly

  1. excellent! Interesting to know time scales (during which insects will be vulnerable)

    I visited a local pond yesterday to meet newly emerged Large Reds and a couple of four-spotted chasers. Things eventually taking off, and warm weather coming next week at last.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Incredible, that was something I had never seen before – a little bit embarrassed, but had no idea what they looked like when they emerged out of the water – quite a contrast from their final mature shape. Had to also sit a bit as I wasn’t expecting TWO posts so quick ha!

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    1. Thanks for your patience B not often I put out two posts so quickly but I was excited and wanted to share the images!
      Although they look so different if you look real close you can make out the features unlike a caterpillar.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stunning. Really sharp images. Chantal saw the tail end of the process happening once around the pond in her old house. Just as the newly minted dragon fly was preparing for flight one of her chickens pottered over and gobbled it up. The wonders of nature!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Due to compression the images are not as sharp as they really are! I hope the chicken got stomach ache! Mind you we shouldn’t get too sentimental just let things sort themselves out, I’m sure the chickens ate plenty of other un-welcome bugs.

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  4. Hello Mr. B,
    I certainly am very glad you decided to treat us to two posts this week! I too, have not seen the entire of the “birth” process of a dragonfly so it’s a real delight to see it so beautifully documented here. Hope you and all your dear ones are continuing to take care and enjoying your home 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (Damsels are always much more efficient at the important things in life.)
      So I am informed on a regular basis Wally!
      Delighted to capture this event and I’ve now seen it almost daily, just wonder how many larvae are in the pond.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! What an event you have captured, and so wonderfully, too! I have seen a lot of Large Red Damselfies around the pond in the garden after emergence, and have seen their ghost skins, but have never seen anything like this! Well done, Brian!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How cool to be able to watch the process! I’ve been hoping to see that for years. I’ve found some neat exuvia of failed emergences, but am still awaiting the day I get to watch the full process that you’ve documented so expertly. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Thanks for dropping by. Yes this was a special moment to get on camera, I always seemed to be a little bit late with the others that emerged and since then the two species that have followed have emerged at night!


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