Damsels and Dragons

We’ve been spending a lot of time in our gumboots exploring the vegetation around the ponds to see what Dragonflies and Damselflies we can observe and hopefully photograph.  They are fascinating insects to watch and at this time of the year there is a lot happening.   Some of the Damselflies are so small they can easily be overlooked while some of the larger Dragonflies can prove frustrating because they seem to be continually on the move.

Its a wonderful wet season activity and this year has been particularly rewarding although a little challenging at times having to dodge the ‘scattered showers’ that can sometimes become an isolated downpour.  I spent quite a while retracing my steps around a pond to find an umbrella I had absent-mindedly hooked over the belt holding my secateurs (I like multi-tasking) but which had dropped into the mud while I was concentrating on a Silver Wisp (Agriocnemis argentea).  Raincoats would be more practical in one sense but they are just too uncomfortable to wear – the humidity is around 90% and when the sun does come out ….. well I don’t think I need to explain further.

wild_wings_swampy_things_Silver Wisp - Agriocnemis argentia

It is hard to give a sense of perspective but this damselfly is very small and delicate –  Silver Wisp is an apt common name.   We suspect that the individual in the photo may be a female or immature male as the mature males are described as being covered in a white pruinescence.

And while I was down at the ponds, Allen was  near the house when he noticed a large Dragonfly hunting back and forth across the lawn.  As he was trying to follow it with binoculars for a closer look it landed so he grabbed a camera and …

wild_wings_swampy_things_ Green-striped Darner (male) - Austroaeschna forcipata

its a male Green-striped Darner (Austroaeschna forcipata).  There are a number of different species of the genus  Austroaeschna  found in the eastern part of Australia and just one species in the south-west.  They are strong  fliers and although they will hunt back and forth over the same area it can require a lot of patience waiting for them to land. So often it is just being in the right place at that moment and the more you are out there the more chances you have.

wild_wings_swampy_things_Green-striped Darner (male) - Austroaeschna forcipata

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