Monday, September 15, 2008

Back to Dragons

In last week's Damsel and Dragon post I mentioned that I have been seeing fewer dragonflies with the beginning of the change in seasons. Although a few species are still around the pond I see very few in the nearby fields. And, most of the damselflies I see at the pond are the smaller ones.

Also in that post I described the mating process of many of the pond damselflies and included photo's and a couple of videos. The mating process for many pond dragonflies is basically similar, but normally they move around so fast over a wider territory that it is difficult to get good photographs or videos.

Of course each of the species has its own procedures, but most of the dragons I have observed do not stay in tandem for an extended period of time. Often the male will disengage and the female will lay the eggs on her own. The male of some species may stay nearby to discourage other males from mating with the female.

As I said, videos are difficult, but I do have a few that show a female dragonfly depositing eggs in the shallow water along the bank. Usually they fly very fast along the edge of the water dropping down repeatedly to barely touch the water with the end of their body. Some species will do the same in deeper water and spread the eggs out over a large area.

According to what I have read, dragonflies may sometimes drop down to obtain water for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are just drinking or will use the water to help clean their eyes or cool their bodies. And some may drop near the water over vegetation to pick off small insects. I presume, however, that repeated dipping into the water as displayed by the following short video is for the purpose of laying eggs. It's not a frequent occurrence for this species in my observation.

Please Note: This video includes audio that can be adjusted on the video. The audio is not excessively loud, but you may want to adjust the initial volume settings depending on your situation. Also, you can view a full-screen version by selecting the small icon immediately to the left of 'vimeo' in the bottom right corner of the video block. You can return to the normal view by pressing [Esc].

Dragonfly Ovipositing from BakerWatson on Vimeo.

All said, I am going to miss the dragons and damsels as fall and winter move in. Luckily, I still have lots of photographs to go through and I plan to share them along the way as I get them organized and identified.


  1. That's really interesting Baker. I will have to watch more carefully. I don't see any, but the weather has been getting more chilly. I am sad to see the end of summer on the pond..

  2. Thanks Michelle. I would imagine you will not be seeing a lot of damsels and dragons until next summer. I understand that most of the ones around here are pretty much inactive when the temps fall below the mid-60's. We may have a few species that last longer into the fall, but not many. Of course our winters are not too cold with only a few short periods of extended below freezing temps normally.



Thanks for stopping by to visit our little pond. We would love to see you again real soon.