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Posts Tagged ‘Erythemis simplicicollis’

I don’t know about you, but if I were an insect with large, fragile wings, I think that I would avoid perching on vegetation with large thorns. This male Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis), however, is obviously bolder and more skilled than I am. With precision flying skills matching the parking abilities of an inner city driver, he has managed to squeeze into a space that seems barely large enough to accommodate him.

Pointless perching—that seems to be the point.

Eastern Pondhawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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There is something really special about green eyes, especially when you see them up close, really close. Every dragonfly season I try to find at least one cooperative dragonfly that sees eye-to-eye with me and lets me get a shot like this. I photographed this female Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) earlier this month at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Virginia.

Eastern Pondhawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Male Eastern Pondhawk dragonflies (Erythemis simplicicollis) start out with the same bright green coloration and bold black and white stripes as the female that I featured in a posting earlier this week. Over time the males turn a fairly nondescript blue and are outshone by their female counterparts.

On Monday, I was fortunate to capture this image of a male Eastern Pondhawk in a transitional  stage, with beautiful two-toned shades of green and blue. I was thrilled when it perched on a green plant, which helps to draw the viewer’s eye to the dragonfly in a background of dried-up fallen leaves.

Eastern Pondhawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I celebrated May Day yesterday by searching for dragonflies at Huntley Meadows Park and was rewarded by spotting my first Eastern Pondhawk dragonflies (Erythemis simplicicollis) of the season. This bright green female pondhawk was almost hidden in the fresh vegetation, but she really showed her colors when she perched on the brittle fallen leaves on the forest floor. The muted tones of gray and brown created a wonderful (albeit cluttered) backdrop that really let her beautiful colors and patterns stand out.

Eastern Pondhawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The coloration of this female Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis) helped it to blend in almost perfectly with the lush green vegetation this past Friday at Huntley Meadows Park. This species of dragonfly is not only beautiful, but it is also deadly. I was reminded of this latter fact when I realized why the dragonfly had stopped and perched—it was consuming a small moth that it had just caught.

Eastern Pondhawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Early yesterday morning I thought that this female Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) was gathering nesting materials, which seemed a little strange this late in the season. When I looked at the images on my computer, however, I was surprised to see that she had instead captured an immature male Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis), a species that itself has a reputation as a ruthless predator.

As the old adage suggests, sometimes the predator becomes the prey.

Eastern Pondhawk

Eastern Pondhawk

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I wouldn’t have thought that a moth would taste very good, even for a dragonfly, but this young male Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) would probably disagree.

I knew that dragonflies are fierce predators and ate other insects, but somehow I didn’t imagine that their diet included moths, which I would think would be dry and not have much nutritional value.

Of course, I have been known to consume chicken wings, which require a lot of work in order to get a very small amount of meat, so who am I to criticize a dragonfly’s diet. I might offer him one suggestion—the moth would probably taste better if he coated it with a spicy sauce.

Eastern PondhawkEastern Pondhawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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