Drifting amongst Dragonflies

Setting the scene with this photo you will have to use your imagination to picture the canoe (slightly muddy from previous weeding excursions) with occupant paddling slowly through the water lilies on a beautiful sunny afternoon.  The same morning I had spent some time on the ponds checking for and removing some weeds and  I was so amazed at the Dragonfly activity that I decided to return in the afternoon with camera.  As we were experiencing occasional wind gusts it did make photography quite a challenge but it was so lovely drifting quietly with a myriad species flying about.  I watched many laying eggs but alas no satisfactory pictorial record.

Resting on the tip of a waterlily flower bud this Palemouth (Brachydiplax denticauda) was perfectly posed in the sunlight.

Many other species rested on the waterlily pads ………

like this Chalky Percher (Diplacodes trivialis)

and what I hope I have identified correctly as

a Fiery Skimmer (Orthetrum villosovittatum)

and to finish this post – the striking colours of a male damselfly known as Blue Slim (Aciagrion fragile)

6 responses to “Drifting amongst Dragonflies

  1. It sounds magical – but then I am of the opinion that drifting on still water in the sunshine is beautiful anywhere.

  2. And I think you’re right about that Mick!

  3. Beautiful photos, obviously from a lovely day spent in the pond.
    Your “Pale-mouth” image is perfect.

    • Thanks Denis, it was great fun trying ‘just one more shot’ to see if I could improve on past efforts. I don’t know what caused the flurry of activity, but I did wonder if it was a last breeding frenzy before the cooler winter weather set in.

  4. Barbara

    These photos are good, good enough that I’m suggesting different ids for a couple of them based on the detail you show. Apologies for arriving on this post ten years late…

    I’m definite that your red dragonfly is Rhodothemis lieftincki (Red Arrow) male. Orthetrum villosovittatum (Fiery Skimmer) has a noticeable pinching in of the abdomen at segment 4, particularly in the male, which is not the case for Red Arrow or O. migratum (Rosy Skimmer). Red Arrow can be separated from Orthetrum by wing venation, and yours has a single row of cells in what is known as the splanate loop (between the major veins IR3 and Rspl as defined in the field guide). Also, the photos I’ve seen of Rosy Skimmer males show more of a plum-coloured thorax.

    I think that your blue damselfly is a male Ischnura heterosticta (Common or Australasian Bluetail, I think they split off some of the SE Asian distribution). The Blue Slim has a much skinnier abdomen, pterostigma that are different sizes but the same uniform blackness between fore and hind wings, a continuous post-ocular stripe instead of two spots, and a mid dorsal stripe on abdominal segment 2 that wobbles in width rather than tapering significantly from one end to the other (wider at the base in the male Bluetail, at the tail end for the andromorph female). A good illustration of Blue Slim is here: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41215671.

    • Thank you for your detailed reply Jeff. I remember Allen and I talked over the possibility of Red Arrow as we were not confident about our ID.
      Your comments will encourage us to look more carefully at our photos and I’ll make some corrections to the blog.

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