View Full Version : Emergence of a southern hawker dragonfly

Jonathan Ashton
06-28-2016, 04:41 AM
Here we start with the exuvia, this is the shell or exoskeleton in which the dragonfly nymph has lived for the last couple of years. The nymphs crawl out of the water and usually attach themselves to a stem of some sort. This is where the remarkable transformation takes place, I captured these images over a period of about 90 min, I have more and it was a little tricky in deciding which ones to put in I would have liked to show an image with the wings full sized but I will but posting other images in the macro section shortly.
The events were captured in my back garden pond, I was becoming increasingly despondent this year, usually mid June they start appearing but nothing happened, then I noticed I had missed one so I watched every day for 10 days - nothing. On the 11th day it rained so I didn't check on the 12th day I soon found I had missed six! Boy was I cheesed off, any how more were to follow. Next I am hoping to capture the adults mating and laying eggs.

Jonathan Ashton
06-28-2016, 04:49 AM
I think it would be disingenuous if I did not mention my able assistant Barney who was there to offer any advice regarding exposure and composition:w3

Glennie Passier
06-28-2016, 03:37 PM
OMG Jon! This is wonderful! Each frame is a beauty and I can't decide which I like better. I am impressed by your diligence and patience and of course, your expertise in the field.

I must say, I like your black fur coat. (When I first glanced the image with you with Barney, I thought you looked like part of the cast from Game of Thrones.) Your assistant has given you some very good advice.

Adhika Lie
06-28-2016, 03:40 PM
Basically what Glennie said. These are beautiful. I can't wait to see the spread out wing picture of this dragonfly soon. I want to take workshop with Barney, too! :D

Gabriela Plesea
06-28-2016, 04:17 PM
This is truly an amazing sequence, Jon!

Really appreciate this, surely hard work and great patience to capture those images, also to put this sequence together!

Mmm...is it possible to invite Barney here for the week-end?:bg3:

Love the sequence, very grateful for information provided, I think the images are wonderful and great quality too, colours are superb. Everything works, from framing to detail and sharpness. Let us not forget the interesting behaviour aspect included!

Just awesome, I sincerely hope you will be back with more. I have been scarce for the past few days due to some software as well as hardware issues but I will be back soon and posting. Unfortunately I lost a whole folder, among other images there was also a Story Sequence I planned to upload the other night, I will reprocess and share as soon as possible.

I hope members viewing this thread will find it as inspiring as I do and contribute with some of their own work. I cannot thank you enough:5

Warmest regards,

Jonathan Ashton
06-28-2016, 04:41 PM
Thanks very much indeed Glennie Adhika and Gabriela, glad you liked it. I have also been fortunate enough to capture a similar sequence with another dragonfly but it is the same species. I will be watching carefully - we are due for our most common species any time now - the common darter.
Barney has strict instructions to keep his eyes peeled and to let me know as soon as they appear:2eyes2:

Allen Sparks
07-01-2016, 10:22 PM
Hi Jonathan, wonderful behavioral sequence you have posted here - shows the process of emergence so well. I think my favorite is the first frame with the dragonfly just starting to emerge. Brilliantly captured!


John Hackney
09-04-2016, 09:10 AM
Fantastic sequence. I can see the difficulty of deciding which photos to use from a 90 minute session. Love the assistant.