Friday, July 13, 2012

Common Green Darner

The large Common Green Darners in this photograph are abundant species throughout North and Central America. Here in the North, these dragonflies are renown for their migrations from here to Texas and Mexico. Records of their occurrence also exist for the Caribbean, Tahiti, Europe, Japan, and China.

Migrating darner flocks provide a food source for kestrels, kites, Green Herons, and, perhaps, nighthawks. Darner migration differs from birds in that the dragonflies oviposit eggs along their travels. The next spring, returning migrants are often joined by darners that have hatched and metamorphosed locally (Paulson).

In this photograph, a male Common Green Darner protects his mate by grasping behind her neck, while she lays fertilized eggs into the pond. Swarming around the darners are perhaps six damselflies--probably Hagen's Bluets. Note that one of them is perched on a wing of the female darner! In case the photo needs further explanation, it is a study in reflections.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. What an amazing image, Dan. Almost looks like a Salvador Dali piece. And, now I know why dragonflies do this! Saw several last weekend and couldn't figure it out. As always, love your posts.