A Planned Encounter

Reminder:  You can enlarge any of the photos in this blog by clicking on it.  Click again for a full-screen image.

I said the other day that I’m about done for the year taking insect photos.  As fall rolls on, more and more insects are ending their life cycles. We’ll have to wait until spring for their eggs to hatch and a new generation to begin life.  That said, there are still some active species and last week I decided to pull out my macro lens and make yet another insect hunt.  While I was at it I decided to look for one species in particular.

Great Spreadwings are a species of damselfly.  They are among the largest damselflies, attaining up to three inches in length and they are spectacularly beautiful.  I hadn’t seen any of these magnificent insects all summer and so, I decided to make a concerted effort to find one and photograph it.  Last year I saw a few of them in late October and early November hanging out by Sabino Dam and, so, I decided to hunt for a spreadwing over there.  It took me three trips but I found one this Monday.

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This is a male Great Spreadwing.  That super-long metallic green abdomen is an instant identifier that it is a spreadwing.  It is distinguished from other spreadwing species by a cream/yellow “racing stripe” on its thorax.  Spreadwings are unlike other damselflies in that they don’t fold their wings when at rest. Rather, they rest with wings extended, hence the name “spreadwing.”

Don’t let this fellow’s delicate appearance fool you.  Spreadwings are ferocious predators of other insects.  Their prey includes smaller damselfly species.

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Photos taken with a Canon 5Diii, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens, assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, ISO 100, f13 @ 1/160.

3 responses to “A Planned Encounter”

  1. Sue says :

    This gorgeous creature is a cannibal? I adore these photos.

  2. Liesl Kii says :

    This damselfly looks like a delicate glass sculpture. You’ve shown us many types of damselflies – how many are there?

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