Thursday, May 31, 2012


Luckily, I remembered to look out the window the other day to check the progress of the damselfly nymphs in the pot of water just outside the glass doors to my deck...

Oh, no. Missed it! (See the wee little spider hanging behind it?
There was a wee little spider dangling off the next one, too...)

Missed it again, darn it. But the dew made for an interesting picture.

Note the grip it has on the leaf. That's important.

Aha! This was actually the first one I found.
After finding the empty casings, I breathed on this one
just to make sure the damselfly was still home. It was!

Jumping ahead a number of minutes...

After much inactivity interspersed with short bursts of violent wriggling (hence the death grip [life grip?] on the leaf) the adult damselfly starts to emerge from the nypmh's exoskeleton. It looked like it was coming out of the mouth, but as the photo below shows, the split was just behind the eyes.

Almost out...

Free at last!

Even if I was going to be late for work (which I was, but luckily I was covering the shop two minutes from home instead of the one 35 minutes away, and had ten minutes to spare before the opening bell), I still had to feed the cats. After patiently watching the laborious process of emergence for the better part of an hour, of course it took hardly any time at all for the wings to expand, so I don't have any photos of the in-between stages. The videos I took are likewise minutes of nothing with split-second wrigglings.

Damselflies are not very large, although this species
(whatever it is) is easily twice the size of the tiniest I've seen.

Best shot out of a lousy few.

After spending an hour sitting on the doorsill watching the one nymph, I happened to glance over and down alongside the back of one of the flower pots. An older damsel had been hardening about a foot away from me the entire time. It didn't like a camera lens staring at it and while it was still "incomplete"--no color to speak of--it was able to fly. And did. Sorry, little one! Be safe.

In all, I found five casings, these two nymphs, and one nymph still in the water. It was there the next morning as well. Guess it has determined it's safer there than out in the wide world!


It finally decided to leave the water! I was looking for it when it flew up from below my feet just outside the door.

I never did get to see what the final colors were. This one left too soon, too. (Granted, I kept walking in and out of the door right next to it, but it seemed to have been the wind that finally sent it to a safer roost somewhere.)