Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Discovery Channel Moment

I have been refining my macro photography skills and I put it to the test yesterday by photographing the mating ritual of the damselfly. I've photographed their larger cousins the drangonflies mating before but had the hardest time with the damsels. Not many people notice damsels because they are tiny and almost invisible if you don't look out for them and the camera also have a hard time focusing on these tiny creatures and all of my previous attempts were failures. Until I sort help to improve my macro skills. Thank you John! As I am finally getting my photographs, I decided to follow this pair for nearly an hour documenting their ritual.In the above photo the male is the handsome brilliant blue insect has a female in its clasps. It holds onto the female at the back of its head.The female then raises her thorax to the male's abdomen to fertilize her eggs. This process takes only a short time and egg laying begins not long after. Here the female lands on some water weeds and begins to deposit her eggs while the male hovers above her.The female in a half-submerged oviposition.However, what followed next took me by complete surprise as I've never seen it before and I was totally thrilled to witness and photograph this. The female complete submerged with only her wings above water.As she descended deeper into the water the male releases her and she is now in the fully submerged oviposition. The female damselfly looked like she had a dive suit on as she was encased in a glassy layer of air. This damsel stayed submerged for over 15 minutes while the male waited above water for her. Once she finished and emerged from the water the male grabs a hold of her again and the ritual begins all over again.

1 comment:

JA said...

Beautiful colour and background combination with control of depth of field made the images very beautiful plus the fact that they are mating made the image even more special. Great job Shirley.