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Nature: - Bulbs and Orchids - Trees and Bushes - Other Flowers
Butterflies and Moths - Amphibians and Reptiles

Creepy Crawlies - Birds

The Dragonfly at Vale Grifo

Nearly all insects begin life as eggs. Those of the dragonflies and damselflies are often laid in our big cistern. Those not eaten by the fish develop into nymphs.
These nymphs grow up in the water, feeding on a wide range of other aquatic creatures. Most damselflies complete their life-cycle in one year, but the dragonflies (anisopterans) can take up to five years to develop.
When fully grown the nymph climbs out of the water, usually climbing a plant stem, and the fully developed (imago) dragonfly emerges.
The freshly emerged dragonfly (teneral) are very pale, and do not achieve their full colours for several days or even weeks.

dragonfly emerging.JPG (26236 bytes)

dragonfly free.JPG (30573 bytes)

While trying to sort out frogs that had become stuck
in a side tank, Deborah flicked something off her jacket.
Placed on the jacket to give a good background,
we recorded what was happening.

dragonfly crawling.JPG (21951 bytes)

dragonfly wings.JPG (28472 bytes)

The teneral started to crawl around - and its wings started to expand.
dragonfly on finger.JPG (17056 bytes) dragonfly on stick.JPG (16643 bytes)
A convenient finger was used instead of a plant stem,
but it was taking a long time -
So we had the idea of sticking a twig into some
floral-foam in a plant pot.
dragonfly identity.JPG (25624 bytes) dragonfly ready to go.JPG (21135 bytes)
Being now easily transportable it was studied on the
kitchen table, and the reference book consulted.
Then placed outside in a sheltered spot (it was
windy) and given its freedom.

Possible identification: Order Odonata, Sub-order Anisoptera Family Libellulidae   Orthetrum cancellatum.

Nature: - Bulbs and Orchids - Trees and Bushes - Other Flowers
Butterflies and Moths - Amphibians and Reptiles - The Dragonfly

Creepy Crawlies - Birds

Send mail to nfo@valegrifo.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1999 Vale Grifo
Last modified: June 04, 2007