Thursday, May 31, 2012

Exuviae, Wings, and Dragonfly Things

It was a bit stormy today.  Overcast, a little rainy.  But I had an hour to myself while Sweet Pea was at her last Thursday School day for the year.  So I headed up to Quarry Hill to see if there were any cold, wet Odes wanting to be photographed.

All that I saw buzzing around were Eastern Forktails.

I got a picture of this mature female for proof.

While I couldn't find any live odes, I did pretty well in the EXUVIAE department. (That's pronounced ex-SOO-vee-ay)

They are awfully creepy looking in their nymph mode,

and these little skin shells are usually found attached to grass stems and branches near the water.

Some folks can tell what sort of dragonfly comes from the shell, but I really have no clue.

Though they can be posed to appear to be dancing on a quarter.

Or guarding it. Look at those little Velcro claws on the ends of the legs!

I also learned something really amazing.  See those little white strands coming from the backs of the exuviae?

Those are the TRACHEA of the ode!  I'm not sure exactly how that all works yet, but that's my next course of study.  Incredible.

I also found a wing...

leftovers from somebody's lunch today.

A little more research told me that it was the wing of a male Common Whitetail.

I'm not sure I care what they're called, because when I see how intricate and functional something so small is, I am simply in awe of the wonders of the world.

More Later

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