Sunday, August 28, 2011

Damselflies: Condie Nature Refuge

Bluet Damselfly -- with startling grin.  © SB 

Condie Nature Refuge, near Regina, Saskatchewan: Damselflies are the tiny dancers of the Dragonfly world, so slight that my camera — even the new DSLR — struggles to find a still, solid point at the centre of their world on which to focus. Only two or three centimetres long, with a wingspan about the same, damselflies' needle-like abdomens must measure a few millimetres at most. (Not that I could catch one of these delicate creatures to try that — I have enough trouble trying to capture their image!

The first damselfly, at the top of this post, was stunning, a light shimmering turquoise blue, based on which, I've decided it must be a Bluet... Of course, nothing's easy for the non-biologist, and as it turns out, there are many different kinds of Bluets. Close-up shots of rear male appendages are apparently helpful for identification, but that takes photography to a whole new level.  

Take a minute to click to enlarge that Bluet — is it just me, or does its face bear a strange resemblance to the scary grins of the little creatures in the Gremlins horror movies of the 1980s/90s?

Continuing with the blue theme, the next two damselflies have bulging blue eyes — the first looked very opaque, while the second reflected a darker translucence. Again, these are tiny insects — shorter than the top two joints on my little finger, and I have very small hands.  

Damselfly, Boggy Creek, Condie Nature Refuge © SB

Damselfly, Condie Nature Refuge, Saskatchewan © SB

The final damselfly was paler, with a slightly brown cast overall, and very easy-to-see reddish spots at the top and end of its wings, similar to the damselfly immediately above.
Damselfly clinging to Thistle stalk © SB
All photos can be clicked to enlarge — and if you do, you'll see the amazing hairs on this last tiny guy's legs...

What are these? Damselflies — which look like tiny dragonflies, but are a slightly different species. 
Location: Condie Nature Refuge, about 12 km north of Regina.
Photo Date: August 27 & 28, 2011.


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