Friday 10 August 2012: Imago
A difficult session today. My intention was to shoot everything that moved, but nothing was movin'. I don't think I have ever walked so far along the path without firing a shot. When I did start shooting, I kept making mistakes, mostly EV mistakes, forgetting to apply or forgetting to switch off after.
When I reached the top paddy, I spotted the emerging dragonfly. It is not the first I have spotted, but this was close enough to at least get a decent crop shot. I didn't want to wade in again as this was going to take time. The new dragon had already climbed out of the ugly larvae shell and this blip was shot ninety minutes after that.
Background - The dragon eggs are deposited below the surface of the water with a quick dabbing action by the female. You have to be on the ball to catch this action and I am looking forward to having a go soon, as the dragon mating season is almost upon us. Knowing how difficult the shot is, makes THIS shot all the more impressive, I want one!
The eggs hatch and the nymph lives in the water for two to seven years, depending on food availability and climate. With Indonesia not having a winter and the nymphs feeding all year round, the growth is rapid.
Once mature, the nymph climbs up a stem, in this case a rice stem. The back of the casing splits and the ghostly white imago climbs out. At first it looks like a well chewed moth, but as the minutes pass and the wings and abdomen fill out, it soon starts to take shape.
After about an hour, the color starts to appear in the body. The wings are still together above the back, an unnatural position for dragon wings, which are normally held in a spread position. By now you would be scratching your head, wondering how that huge fly managed to fit inside that tiny shell, even though you had just seen it yourself. This particular dragonfly imago turned into a green sabina Sabina, the same species as the MALE that I posted a couple of days ago.
I really wanted to see the emergence through to the first flight, but the sun was really beating down on me. Had I planned this shoot, I would have brought a stool. It was a very interesting lesson in nature and a free blip too!