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My former life #2 (Dragonfly exuvia)

My former life #2 (Dragonfly exuvia)
Photo Information
Copyright: jitti coowanitwong (jcoowanitwong) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1679 W: 0 N: 3120] (13754)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: canon s3 is
Exposure: f/8, 1/100 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-04-06 9:49
Viewed: 3080
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The term "naiad" is specific to dragonflies and mayflies because their immature forms and lifestyles are very different from the adults, and the immatures do not undergo a pupal stage like butterflies.

A nymph is an immature form of an insect that shares the general appearance and lifestyle of the adult. A larva is very different from the adult form, but transforms into the adult during an inactive pupal stage. A naiad retains its immature form until it sheds its skin for the last time and the adult emerges from the cast skin, which is called an exuvia. Since the naiads of dragonflies are aquatic and the adults require air to breathe, the naiad has to crawl out of the water for the adult to emerge successfully.

Dragonfly naiads are very different in appearance and lifestyle from the adults. The adults are brightly colored winged insects, while the naiads are aquatic insects that are colored in mottled browns and olive greens. The naiad does share the adult's predatory lifestyle, however. All dragonfly naiads are carnivorous without exception, and they have an amazing adaptation to this carnivorous lifestyle. The labium of the naiad, which is a mouthpart similar to our lower jaw, is lengthened and hinged. It can be shot in the direction of prey almost the length of the naiad's body. The end of the labium has hooks on it that grasp the prey so it can be dragged back to the mouth and be chewed by the mandibles.

The skin of the naiad also serves as its skeleton. It cannot grow with the naiad, but must be shed. In some species this shedding is done up to a dozen times as the naiad grows. The period between each molt is called an instar. During the last instar the wingpads on the naiads back turn dark, and for the next molt the naiad will climb out of the water and the adult will emerge from the cast-off skin, or exuvia.

The newly hatched adult is soft and weak, and is not ready to take part in the territorial battles at the water's edge. The first flight, or maiden flight, is always directed away from the water. The immature adult will roam the forests and meadows for a week or more before it is sexually mature and strong enough to establish a territory and pass on its genes.

The abdomen is the major body part behind the thorax. It contains ten segments, and houses the organs necessary for digestion and reproduction. These organs include those necessary for mating, and in the case of the females, the organs necessary for laying eggs. At the end of the males' last segment are the anal appendages. These appendages are used to grasp the female behind the head during mating. Each species has differently shaped anal appendages, so they are very useful in identifying many species of dragonfly.


pankajbajpai, horia, cicindela, ridvan, Alex99, ramthakur, scottevers7, hester, SkyF, jmp has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hi jitti,
nice shot,
liked the composition, nice colours, good pov, good notes,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-06 10:04]

Hi Jitti

A very interesting and educational post!
Beyond the very beautiful composition you managed here as well as teh lovely colors of the surrounding (in somewhat opposition with the naiad) you also presented a beautiful part of biology.
The note is truely great!

Bravo and TFS

Hello Jitti,

This is a really interesting subject, and you have photographed it very well! Great sharpness, and detail, perfect BG that shows an interpretation of how this naiad must leave the water for the adult to emerge. Fantastic, I have learned much from this post! Thank you for sharing :)


Hello Jitti!
Very interesting presentation. And very unusual! It is not colourful picture but I like it a lot as a great documentary photo!
Anyway, the "old skin" of this dragonfly belongs to some species from Gomphidae family (easy to recognize because its eyes are not connected.
Best greetings,

  • Great 
  • ridvan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 0 N: 1136] (5205)
  • [2007-04-06 10:20]

hello jitti; interesting and unusual insect ,good close up and colors well done.TFS
best regards

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-04-06 12:27]

Hello Jitti

A very informative posting today.The shot is well focused with excellent details.You can see where the emergent dragonfly came out.Very good natural colours.TFS


This is an interesting picture accompanied by a highly informative note about this stage of a dragonfly's life, JC. I had no idea about it, frankly. TN really teaches us many things.
The naiad you have captured looks sort of inert. I like the colour of that triangular formation on its back.

Hi Jitti,
The photo is excellent, as are the notes. Perfect colors and sharp detail from the spot on exposure. An excellent biology lesson. It is always good to lean something new!

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-04-06 14:34]

Nice shot. Excellent sharp details. Good exposure, POV and DOF. The adults are so much more attractive :)



  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-04-07 7:39]

Hi Jitti,
I'm always amazed how details those left behind shell are. Very interesting post here, very good information that goes with the photograph. POV, sharpness and colors are great.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-04-07 10:05]

Hi, dear Jitti.
This is surprising shot by subject and by quality. What a nice godsend. What a perfect title and note. Bravo, my friend. Tremendous reproduction of all details of the what?! :))) and leaf. Great sharpness, nice soft lighting, amazing POV and colours. My congratulations and TFS. Superb job.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-04-09 16:28]

Hi Jitti,
Quite interesting photo and note for inexpert as I. Perfect details and composition.
TFS, Josť M.

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