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Common Whitetail Deposits Eggs

Common Whitetail Deposits Eggs
Photo Information
Copyright: Ken Slade (Ken52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-14
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT), Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, 58mm circular polarizer
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Dragonflies in flight, Alex99 favorite shots [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-04-24 20:51
Viewed: 3408
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Common Whitetail Dragonfly - Libellula Lydia

With this post I wanted to illustrate and discuss the egg-laying behavior of Common Whitetail dragonflies.

I photographed both male and female of the species while the female was laying her eggs, but the pair of dragonflies were too far apart to capture in one frame, so I have chosen to merge the photo of the male and female to illustrate their behavior.

If you would like to see a larger version of each photo, click Workshop.

When the female has a batch of eggs ready, she will mate with the male, and thus the eggs are fertilized. Then the female will deposit here eggs by flying low over the water and repeatedly tapping her abdomen to the surface. While she is depositing her eggs, the male will hover over the female, thus discouraging other males from mating with her before the eggs are deposited.

Males and females have different wing patterns.

Immature males have the same body pattern as females but the same wing pattern as mature males.
'Tween' males have abdomens that are beginning to turn blue, but the adolescent body pattern still shows through the blue.
Mature males have a short, stout abdomen that is completely chalky blue-white covering the adolescent pattern.

Females have a short, stout abdomen with several oblique dorsolateral white or pale yellow markings against a brown ground color; each wing has three black evenly-spaced blotches.

Found in the 48 contiguous states and the range continues south into Mexico. Found in these Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

Habitat: Ponds, lakes, marshes, streams; adults may also be found some distance from water.

Food: Adults feed on flying insects.

Females are often confused with the Twelve-spotted Skimmer, but you can tell by looking at the stripe down the abdomen. On the Twelve-spotted Skimmer the stripe down the sides of the abdomen will be solid. On Common Whitetail females the line will be broken, as a series of diagonal lines.

Source: http://bugguide.net/node/view/603

Data For Both Photos:
Aperture = f8.0
Shutter = 1/1000s
ISO = 400
Focal Length = 300mm
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens

XOTAELE, Alex99, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-04-25 4:53]

Hi Ken,
Nice to see you after such a long time. Hope everything is fine.

Outstanding double take and a great documentary. Very skillfully done and you have captured this in-flight dragonfly perfectly. Very impressive sharpness and colours with perfect lighting. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

Hola Ken.
Fabulosa presentación.
Magníficos detalles y genial composición.
Buen comentario, bastante completo.
Saludos, JL.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-04-26 8:50]

Hi Ken.
Simply great in-flight pictures. Superb POVs, amazing timing and great details/sharpness of the insect. Colour palette is very impressive and nice too. Bravo.

When I read the title I wondered....ha ha A WHITETAIL depositing EGGS?!?!?!? Of course, I was thinking deer. ha ha Great inflight shots. Those little boogers are hard to photograph - they flit awfully fast!

Hello Ken. Awesome capture in flight of these dragonflies. You have kept the body in pleasant sharpness and detail. TFS and best regards. Jusni

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-04-27 4:53]

Hello Ken,
Interesting combination!
Good both captures!

  • Great 
  • RP1 Gold Star Critiquer [C: 154 W: 1 N: 6] (251)
  • [2008-04-28 22:53]

Hi Ken,
Very nice présentation of this dragonflies. The compositition is very original.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-31 18:49]

Hello Ken

An exquisite presentation of this beautiful dragonfly.
Well captured showing remarkable details
The focus is well done.
Lovely lighting and colours.
Great job.


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