Dragonflies


Julia

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Ive seen these beetle like larvae many times before and never associated them with dragonflies!
 
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Isn't it amazing? We seriously did not know what they were, but they were all over the pool liner. Thankfully, one night, DH took his camera and "caught them in the act" of emerging. Kind of gross though but such a beautiful outcome. Here is a pic of one that I believe ended up in the pond and I rescued it. you can see how wrinkled its' wings are. I would retrieve them but some were so weak, they did not hang on fully to the dowel in the plant. Some were actually blown off. I believe one that did make it was in a previous pic I posted. Some will mate and lay their eggs while still attached to each other like the one posted first. Others dip their abdomen after mating from what I can discern.

:goldfish:
 

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addy1

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They are great predators above and below water. We have a lot fewer bugs since putting in the pond.
 
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I don't know, actually after looking at those my dragonfly looks different. No idea if that's what I have or not.
 
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j.w

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Boy they sure do look all crinkled up when they first come out and are drying............like a bad hair day and then they straighten up and look so perfect!
 
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I should have started Googling earlier or even read the forum posts, lol.

For some time now, each time that I have pulled my filter/aerator out to clean it, I have come across dragonflies in their initial phase without realising it. I am not a fan of things that creep and crawl so have been put off by these albino-like, primitive looking, alien things crawling around.

Then, about a month ago I started to notice all these (similar looking) creatures all over my reeds and marginals and, again, not being a fan of things that creep and crawl, I ignored them and hoped they would go away. I remember noticing a dragonfly on one of them once and thought it was enjoying a meal (I wasn’t sure which was enjoying the meal).

Eventually, I realised that they were just husks so assumed that something had gone through a metamorphosis but wasn’t sure what. Now I know it was dragonflies. As I said, I should have read the forum. Lol, now I can guess where all my toad tadpoles went too.

Here is a close-up of one of the husks….
insect01.jpg
 
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....and here is (probably) one of the dragonflies. It is a zoom shot and is slightly out of focus. I can't seem to get my macro/super macro function working without getting things completely out of focus....
df01.jpg


...oh, saw this one as well (pity about the reed in the way in the first shot).....

df02.jpg...............df03.jpg
 

j.w

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Glad you know now gp so you can watch for them again when they are morphing! Neat pix of them too!
 
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It interesting to see this topic. In the last few days I've seen lots of dragonflies by the pond. They look really cool especially when they land and sit still for a few seconds. I was just saying to my wife that I don't remember ever seeing so many of them and that I wondered if the pond had something to do with it. Now I know.
 
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I have actually heard other people comment that there seems to be a lot more dragonflies this year, and I would have to agree. I've had a pond in my yard for years, and I have never seen so many! The most common one is about 2" long. The males are blue and the females are brown. When they mate, the male sticks the back end of his body into the back of the female's head, and they will fly around together like that, with the female dropping eggs onto plant stems and directly into the water. Most of the males are sort of a medium to light blue, but I saw one yesterday that was nearly purple.

I have also seen some very large ones that fly around the neighborhood in groups. Based on their size, I believe these larger ones are responsible for all of the nymphs I found in my pond last weekend while draining it down to work on the waterfall. There were a LOT of them, and I'm really surprised that the fish had not eaten them. Then again, I'm also surprised that this is the first time I've noticed them. I'm really hoping for a good success rate with these larger ones, because we need more of them!

Something I didn't see while skimming through this thread... despite their alien appearance, both the nymphs and the adult dragonflies are extremely good to have around. They eat other insects, and will clean out anything your fish may have missed. The adults are expert aerial hunters, and when you see them darting and weaving through the air, be sure to thank them for reducing the mosquito population in your yard. I really love having them around, and with all the types of plants I have growing in my pond now, I hope to see more varieties of dragonflies pass through over the years.
 

addy1

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Dragon flies are wonderful, when you read how they catch bugs in the air using their legs to grab them it is so neat.

One reason I don't have a bottom drain is to protect the critters. Still have not needed to net the bottom this year, no huge collection of muck. Might just do a fall clean up right before shutting the pond down for winter. Noticed we have tons of trap door snails, all sizes, see them all over the sides and bottom eating away.

We have not seen one mosquito, which is great, they have found west nile virus in mosquitoes east of us. There is plenty of water around for them to breed in, the birds, dragonflies, frogs must be keeping them in check.

I also noticed those nasty invasive stink bugs are not around this year. By this time, last year, they where destroying my veggie garden, swarming the walls of the house, destroying the apples. We had sprayed the house walls last year, swept up 1000's every few days, this year have seen very few.

We put up another 20 bird homes, a few already inhabited. I really encourage them to hang around.
 

j.w

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Totally opposite here. We seem to have less right now then last year. Maybe they just need to catch up w/ our weather we had this Spring w/ their breeding later or something. I see a few small ones but haven't seen any big ones flying around lately. Hoping they will show up and do their dancing above the pond!
 
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Ugh... west nile virus is going around again? We had that going around here about 10 years ago. I guess its just one of those things that migrates around the country from year to year?

I don't have a 'ton' of trapdoor snails yet, but I dropped in a bag of 50 this Spring, and I'm pretty sure at least half survived. I see to large ones all over the pond, so hopefully there will be smaller ones some day. I also have trumpet snails in the pond, which were tossed out from the aquariums. They are great algae eaters, but they multiply as fast as the common pond snails. Unfortunately they are not tolerant of Winters here, but I think some must survive. This type is good in aquariums because they will dig down through the gravel and help keep it cleaned up... hopefully they perform the same function in the pond!
 

addy1

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I watch a dragon fly drop eggs, the minute I moved to take a photo it took off. Here are its eggs. I lowered the lily leaf so they would stay wet. The water on the leaf was just from the rain.
Tiny little things

DSC04101.jpg
 

j.w

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Wow that's really cool you got to see that and thanks for letting us see that. Never would prolly have gotten to if you hadn't posted it :)
 
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The larvae are actually insects that have a large appetite. They get pretty large and are very good at catching fish, tadpoles, and other insects. they hold onto a plant, rock, or similar surface and wait for the food to swim near them then grab. you'll eventually see one, probably about the size of your finger/thumb nail. they are usually a light sandy color and look kind of like a beetle. they emerge and shed the coat and the dragonfly will emerge similar to a butterfly. this happens usually very early in the morning and is a neat thing to watch. I have always been amazed that such a large flying insect could emerge from such a small water bug.
I had four mating couples this morning, all dipping their tails in the pond...how long before they hatch?
 

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