Posted on June 14, 2020
We finally got to go to a local park the other day for a walk. We had not been to this county park this year because of the stay at home mandate. We heard it would be very crowded because of the lifting of the stay at home mandate. I liked photographing dragonflies here, but with the crowds I decided to travel light and just take an m43 Olympus Camera with a Panasonic 100 – 300mm Lens. These images were all @ 300mm (Full Frame Camera Field of View ~ 600mm). We have never seen this park so crowded. Cars were parked everywhere, even by the small boat launch area, where you are not supposed to leave cars. Some of the prime areas to photograph dragonflies were blocked by people spread out on towels having picnics. But it was nice to get out and walk around and see what dragonflies we might find. After battling the crowds, we were on our way to the car when I noticed this Teneral Dragonfly waiting in the bushes for it’s wings to harden so it could fly. I believe it is a teneral Slaty Skimmer. The newly emerged adult will have to wait several hours before its wings dry out and become strong enough to fly. The dragonfly at this stage is called a teneral which is a Latin meaning tender or soft or delicate. This is a very critical period in the life cycle of the dragonfly. The tenerals are generally weak and they cannot fly very well. This makes them easily exposed to predators. However, it doesn’t take long for the tenerals to gain sufficient strength to make their first flight. In our old home we saw quite a few teneral dragonflies by our pond, so it was fun to see one here.
Posted on July 20, 2018
Going through old images I have not worked on before, I found this series on what I think is a Teneral Dragonfly that must have recently emerged a little before I spotted it. The wings looking very crystalline like and it did not seem able to fly yet. I have seen a quite few when I had my own pond and was always fun to see and photograph. Not sure exactly what kind it is but it stayed where it was for quite a while before I moved on. Images taken with a Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens with extension tubes since it was closer than the minimum focus of the lens. 1/50th sec @ f/8 ISO 400.
Posted on July 14, 2014
When a new dragonfly emerges from it’s exoskeleton (called exuvia once it is completely out), it is pale in color and the wings are almost transparent. It takes about another week away from the pond before it matures into its coloring. In this stage they are called Teneral (soft) and after a few days they harden up and take on the coloring of an adult dragonfly. We saw this one in an evergreen tree near the pond early in the morning. It was in a shadowy area against the darker green of the evergreen. After a few photos we left it alone. I am wondering what kind of dragonfly it is. We couldn’t tell from the coloring and shape we saw in the Teneral phase. I have seen Blue dashers, Green Darners, Common Whitetails and Twelve-spotted Skimmers laying eggs in the pond.