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Aerial Dominance

Aerial Dominance
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-11-07
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron AF70-300mm LD, Digital ISO 100, Hoya skylight (1B)
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Things in and around my house. [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-11-07 3:27
Viewed: 5310
Favorites: 4 [view]
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Blue Emperor (Anax imperator)

The bright blue male emperor dragonfly is extremely sharp sighted and is one of the fastest flying of all insects. The emperor dragonfly has remained unchanged for 230 million years. Despite being able to beat its wings only 30 times a second (ten times slower than a bee), it has no difficulty hunting down more highly evolved insect species.

Food and Feeding:
The adult dragonfly is able to catch most of its prey while flying. It plucks insects out of the air with its legs. The dragonfly is rarely still, and its huge, multifaceted eyes enable it to detect prey up to 35m away. Almost any flying insect is suitable prey. The dragonfly eats small insects even while it is flying but takes larger prey to a resting perch. The emperor dragonfly’s larvae also hunt. They propel themselves through their underwater habitat by expelling water rapidly from their intestines. Their extendable jaws, armed with deadly hooks, enable the larvae to catch and kill such food as water lice and nymphs. The shovel like jaw of the larva is used to capture a variety of freshwater animals. The legs form a basket in which insects are caught in flight and then transferred to the jaws to be eaten.

The male emperor dragonfly is almost continuously airborne, in search of a mate or prey that may stray into its territory. The dragonfly’s territory is always over a freshwater pond or lake. The defending dragonfly will attack the trespasser immediately by flying under him to force him up and away from the water. The green and brown female stays away from the water until she is ready to breed, so she is sighted less frequently.

Most of the dragonfly’s life is spent underwater as larva. It emerges as a winged adult for a few weeks a year to mate and lay eggs. Usually mating takes place in the high branches of a tree along the pond’s bank, but sometimes it will occur in the air. The male pursues the female until he is able to settle on her back. The mating procedure is known as the “copulation wheel.” The female fertilizes the eggs, then uses her ovipostor (a special egg laying organ) to lay them. To protect her eggs from being eaten by fish, she places them into slits that she has cut into stems of pondweed.

It’s interesting to see that after 230m years this one is still at the top of the insect food chain. I guess if T-Rex was still alive he would be too. Anyway… I took my first swim this morning and as I got out of the pool I nearly got a heart attack. A dragonfly in my garden, and an Emperor as such. Grabbed the camera and took two shots before it disappeared. This one was not too bad so I posted it. It was free-hand and no flash was used. Hope you like it.

AndyB, ellis49, marhowie, Crypton, Signal-Womb, willie, PDP, red45, elihesam, RAP, mrvdm1, milloup, deud, aktolga, Athila has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Athila: Digging in the archives...gerhardt 1 10-24 14:44
To milloup: Pleased to see you...gerhardt 3 11-08 15:12
To elihesam: Excellent to here...gerhardt 1 11-07 16:00
To ellis49: Rings...gerhardt 1 11-07 05:38
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2004-11-07 3:54]

A real beauty!
Excellent composition and nice vivid colours.
A good capture.
Well done.

Great my friend. No rings ?
Very good colours and great composition and sharpness.
Great note like always.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-11-07 5:34]

I took my 1st semi descent one yesterday but it is shots like these that make me doubt if I should post it. Great work. The background leans itself for a macro shot. Hoop jy het lekker geswem.


Gerhard, I like this POV with the diagonal wing presentation. The absence of flash works well here with the greens giving a "cool" (as in temperature) effect. Great detail, great note, great shot!

j'aodore les couleurs "fluo" de cette libellule !
la photo est super nete.
tres beau shoop.

Impressive shot Gerhard. I love the various shades of green in this shot which contrasts nicely with its blue body. It really is a very nice shot. Your notes are always excellent to. I appreciate that.

Deffinately going into my favourites. well done. I took 96 shots of dragonflies in the week and won't even try to post any of them after seeing this one.
Brilliant work

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-11-07 11:35]

The Dragonfly God looks down upon you favourably...these are hard to capture so well done, and the males don't often stop, especially not someplace where phtotos can be taken. Well done.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2004-11-07 12:48]

Very artistic shot. Neon lights meet stained-glass.

Nicely done,Gerhard,perfectlly use of DOF,and a great diagonal composition,amazing colors and result with a lot of attractive details,very well captured,great for study,really thanks for posting it.

Great shot, Gerhard. And to be taken in your own back yard. The note too is excellent. Well done.

Given the fact that you had only two shots at this chap this is very good. It does seem, however, that the main focus is on the body rather than the head, but it's not a very big deal. Generally, you need fairly high F-numbers for getting this size beasts within DOF range - if it's at all possible, which isn't always the case ;-)

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-11-08 8:19]

Como presentacion de este tipo de insectos Gerhard, creo que esta imagen está muy cerca de la perfeccion... verdaderamente.
La combinacion de colores de este especie es espectacular, así como el POV, el DOF y la iluminación tan bien lograda.

Like presentation of this type of insects Gerhard, I believe that this image is closely together of perfeccion... truely.
The combination of colors of this species is spectacular, as well as the POV, the DOF and so the well obtained illumination.

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2004-11-11 8:27]

Magnificent. I think is one of the best dragonfly shots! The mother-of-pearl colours is superbe! The name of this dragonfly is so respective. Congratulations!

Fantastic shot so clear. He is really beautiful. Great information too. Thanks for sharing this shot

An other nice one !
Good picture Gerhard! Technically only good comments as usual. The fascinating thing in this picture is the light orientation coming from under. Unusual but interesting and very effective. It gives a glowing effect on its head and its torso. TFS

Hi, Gerhard,
Perfect, deep DOF and good composition. Thnnks for explinations

I made a shot yesterday of blue emperor, which I posted today. I looked for who else has posted some on TN. Yours is the best one of all. Congratulations.

Calibration Check