Four-spotted chaser and exuvia

Every time I go over to the ponds opposite our house, I look for dragonflies emerging from the water.  This morning was beautiful and I headed down the field early to catch a shot or two of the nesting nuthatches.  When I got back, I hauled my tripod and camera across to the pond on the off-chance there would be something worth shooting.  And there it was.  A four spotted chaser, on a dead reed, emerging from its exuvia (what the insect leaves behind when it ends the aquatic stage of its life cycle).  I set up the camera and got a couple of shots but I was desperate to get some time-lapse video so I left the camera and shot back home to get the GoPro.  When I got back, the dragonfly had turned itself around and was sitting in the sun waiting to dry out. Over the 90 minutes or so, the adult insect carefully sprung its wings from the closed position they had formed while it was in its case, to a position ready for flight.

Look at the sequence and you will see the colour changes to the body and the wings as it develops.  It was only in its final stages that I could identify it as a four-spotted chaser.

Then, it was gone, leaving behind a shroud, the only evidence of a previous life.




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