Blue-ringed Dancer

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Our historically heavy July rains have fostered an insect population explosion.  I have no complaints about that aside from the fact that I am a mosquito magnet.  I love observing insects and photographing them and this is catnip for me.

The other day I photographed this damselfly over at Sweetwater Wetlands.  I believe that it is a Blue-ringed Dancer, one of the most frequently seen damselfly species in southern Arizona.

These little damselflies aren’t much more than an inch long and they seem to be very fragile.  But that’s a bit deceptive.  These insects are, in fact, fierce predators, chasing down and capturing smaller insects as prey.

The fact that they are extraordinarily beautiful is a plus for me.  I love photographing damselflies and dragonflies of all types.

There are a lot of anatomical differences between dragonflies and damselflies and I claim to be no expert.  One way of sorting them out is this:  dragonflies are incapable of folding their wings.  They perch with their wings extended.  Damselflies can fold their wings and they generally perch with their wings folded.

Images made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180mm f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite and stabilized by monopod, M setting, ISO 250.  First image shot at f9 @ 1/160, second image shot at f11 @ 1/160.

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