Category Archives: Dragonflies

Life on the Ponds

Beautiful tropical summer weather; mostly dry mornings with periods of sun, followed by showers in the afternoon/evening so our ponds are gradually filling.   Its perfect weather for dragonflies and hanging around in the swamp with a camera.


Water Prince (Hydrobasileus brevistylus)  Female – she was hovering and occasionally dipping her abdomen towards the leaf.


Lesser Green Emperor (Anax guttatus) Flying up and down the ponds, very occasionally hovering before taking off again in a different direction. Possibly a male?


Front view – Lesser Green Emperor 

Making the most of some lighter weather this turtle was resting on some pond ‘infrastructure’ that is exposed at low water levels.  When the wetlands were new the fish needed places to hide so we arranged a few old tyres  – its probably rather a good turtle resting place with a gentle slope and a decent grip on its surface.


Saw-shelled fresh water turtle

There are many of these delicate little Darkmouth dragonflies on the vegetation in the shallows.  Once located they make relatively easy photographic subjects as they, like many in the Libellulidae family, will usually perch in between short flights, often returning to the same twig.  Digital photography is a wonderful assistance in identifying dragonflies as some of the differences are quite subtle and certainly not obvious to an untrained eye.


Darkmouth (Brachydiplax duivenbodei)

Punk or Puberty?

Returning from a stroll around the ponds I saw movement on the ground under the bamboos; although obviously a Black Butcherbird (Cracticus quoyi)  I thought, at first, that it must have a bamboo leaf stuck on its face.

wild_wings_swampy_things_birds_black butcherbird

However, it was just beautifully camouflaged amongst the fallen leaves, which it was picking up and throwing aside while looking for insects, worms, or whatever unsuspecting creature might be hiding under this damp carpet.

wild_wings_swampy_things_birds_black butcherbird

As several pair of Black Butcherbird have successfully raised young in the last few months and the juvenile birds were a rufous morph, we presume that this one is in an eclipse phase.   And in spite of  the Black Butcherbird’s voracious appetite there are still large numbers of reptiles, small birds, frogs and insects living here so the property seems quite able to support them.

wild_wings_swampy_things_dragonflies_Striped Swampdragon

And now for something completely different – a Striped Swampdragon (Agrionoptera longitudinalis biserialis) Continue reading

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 Continue reading