Created 27-Jun-10
Modified 27-Jun-10
Visitors 213
15 photos
While paddling on the Flambeau River in northern Wisconsin, I slipped my kayak into a mass of lily pads to photograph the lotus blossoms. What caught my eye more so than the blossoms was a mass emergence of dragonflies metamorphosing from nymph to adult.

Dragonflies spend most of their lives underwater as nymphs. From the hatching of eggs, it is four years before they are ready to emerge as adults. When the time is right, the nymphs crawl to the surface onto reeds, lily pads, or blossoms, and the adult struggles to emerge.

The metamorphosis fom nymph to an adult able to fly takes many hours. After emerging from the nymph casing, the new adult must wait hours for its wings to extend and dry. During this stage, the dragonfly is defenseless to hungry birds.

The adult dragonfly lives mainly to mate. From the time it is able to fly, its lifespan is only about two months.


On the North Fork of the Flambeau River near Butternut Wisconsin, June 2010

Categories & Keywords
Category:Animals
Subcategory:Insects
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:dragon fly, flambeau river, hatching, kayak, metamorphosis, nymph, paddle, rapids, whitewater, wisconsin

nymphthe four pods...adult emergeswings unfoldingwings extendingwings dryingtwo born a few hours apart...wings extendedsaying goodbye...ready for first flight

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