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Now showing at a dam near you

January 5, 2013
Step 1 - Nymph climbing a reed

1 – Nymph climbing a reed

A recent post described the many cicada exoskeletons that currently adorn our trees and shrubs (click HERE to view). Watching the adult cicadas emerge from the shells is difficult because it generally occurs at night and can happen in trees just about anywhere on your property.

Similarly spectacular shows are now also happening – the emergence of dragonflies and damselflies from their nymph stage. Even though they also happen after dusk, the good news is the events are far easier to find. They occur only in dams within centimetres of the water’s edge on upright reeds and branches.

2 - Adult emerges

2 – Adult emerges

A previous post (click HERE to view) discussed the mating and subsequent egg laying process of these insects. Once hatched, the nymphs can spend from months to several years under water feeding on mosquito larvae and tadpoles. At maturity the nymph climbs out of the water on a suitable reed or branch. The exoskeleton splits along the back and the adult emerges. Once freed, the adult uses an internal hydraulic system to ‘pump up’ its various body parts to their full size. Over the next few hours the wings and body harden and another dragonfly is ready to take to the air.

So for those of you addicted to the SBS reality show ‘One Born Every Minute’, switch off the telly, put on the wellies and get a real dose of reality. There are hundreds being born every minute … right now, at a dam near you.

4 - Ready to go

4 – Ready to go

3 - Wings still folded back

3 – Wings still folded back

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    January 5, 2013 9:13 am

    Are these your photos Ron? Amazing! Might have to watch for red bellies as we lie on the ground next to the dam! Thank you for the sequence.

  2. Susan permalink
    January 5, 2013 9:14 am

    Sorry I just saw your name on the photos – they are really great!

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