06.24.2021 Calico Pennant

The other day, Reed Andariese posted some shots of this same species but a male on his blog.  A number of years ago I photographed a female of that species in a meadow a short distance inside Gate 29 in North Quabbin and mentioned to him that I had never posted them but would.

While the males stay close to water, the females wander to meadows.  Not sure why because they do end up back at the water to lay their eggs.  Guess they need some personal space before mating. Finding them in this meadow was a real treat.  There were quite a few perched high on grass stalks. I concentrated on this one.

If you look closely on the right edge of the abdomen you can see a bit of red.  Those are mites that hitched a ride. Not a good sign for this female.

This view offers a better look at those mites and her lovely visage.

As you can see, although not in focus, there is a good size mass of them. Dragonflies are strong fliers so the weight probably wasn’t a problem but the mite predation most likely spelled doom for her.

Be sure to click to get a good look at those beautiful eyes!

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
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36 Responses to 06.24.2021 Calico Pennant

  1. Gallivanta says:

    Very beautiful. Shame about the mites. 😦

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  2. Nice going with the compound eyes.

    If dragonflies were more intelligent, like monkeys, they could groom each other and remove the parasitic mites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I am surprised that they don’t, intelligence or not. Since they eat small insects, as well as larger prey, I am surprised they are not dining off each others parasites.

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  3. shoreacres says:

    I’ve never thought about mites (or other parasites) as a problem for dragonflies. Her eyes are more attractive, but the mites are interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I rarely see mites on their own, most always as a parasite. The only ones I see occasionally solo are red spider mites but I imagine they are looking for a host when I do find them.

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  4. Peter Klopp says:

    Insects and beetles are often attacked by mites as seen on my video here: https://youtu.be/BcseFY0SYro

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! I’ve only ever seen two sorts of dragonflies, blue or orange. This one is psychedelic by comparison! Your photographs are gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jet Eliot says:

    It was a great treat to see these close-ups of the calico pennant dragonfly, Steve, and interesting about the mites. Loved seeing the compound eyes so closely.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    Beautiful shots, Steve. Too bad about those mites– the law of the jungle, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mike Powell says:

    Great close-up shots, Steve. I love how you show the details of the compound eyes, including the individual ommatidia, the optical units that make up those eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mike! I can’t find it, but when a kid I watched Looney Tunes etc and remember one cartoon that showed the eyes of some insect, looking at Elmer Fudd, I think, and he was in each individual ommatidia. I have no idea whether that is really how insect eyes work but it was funny at the time.

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      • Mike Powell says:

        It is a mystery to me exactly how insect eyes work, but it would be wild to have the almost all-around vision that dragonflies have. Wow!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It seems overwhelming to us but, of course, when you are born that way it seems normal. I have enough trouble with two…well four eyes. 🙂

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      • Mike Powell says:

        I wore glasses for almost 50 years until I had cataract surgery a few years ago. Now I need glasses only for reading and other close work, especially when the lighting is not good. Being able to drive without glasses feels miraculous to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve worn glasses since four years old, almost 70 years. I am so used to them it would take a lot of getting used to for no glasses to feel normal. I never considered contacts.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mike Powell says:

        I would have been content to continue to wear glasses, but my cataracts got bad enough that my vision was no longer fully correctable with glasses and my night vision was really bad. It still feels strange when I do my annual checkups with my ophthalmologist to be able to read the 20/20 lines on the eye charts. The only strange thing is that I am now a little far-sighted rather than really near-sighted, which means when the print is small, I can’t just move it closer to my eyes as I did for most of my life.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Cracking good photos, Steve! The details and colours are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ann Mackay says:

    Fantastic detailed shots!

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  11. Very Nice Steve! Love the Close-up Portrait !!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful photographs, beautiful creature.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Todd Henson says:

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something like this before. Or if I did I didn’t realize what it was. Fascinating. Thanks much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. blhphotoblog says:

    Super images! You are spot on why the females are in a meadow, here in the UK most female odonata move away from the water after they emerge so they can mature. The males don’t care and I’ve seen them grab a female before the wings have hardened!

    Liked by 1 person

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