Damselflies in dews!

During my early year of learning macro photography, I was often frustrated as I could not get sharp images.  Most of my pictures were motion blur due mainly to windy conditions.  I soon realized that from the first light of the day (ie. 6.45 am to 7.00 am) to 9.00 am is the best period for newbie like me to practise shooting as there are little or no winds and insects are less active.  I began to improve and soon mastered the basic skills of macro photography.  Shooting very early in the morning has its advantage.  You would see lots of dews around the greenery.

(Female Common Bluetail, Holland Woods - 11 Oct 2008)

(Female Common Bluetail, Holland Woods – 11 Oct 2008)

Morning dews not only complement but very effective in making an ordinary subject looks amazingly different.   I personally find damselflies covered or surrounded in the morning dews most beautiful and eye-catching such as the above image which is one of my favourites.

Holland Woods, a greenery opposite Ngee Ann Polytechnic, is an excellent place to photograph damselflies in heavy dews!

(Female Common Bluetail - Holland Woods - 7 June 208)

(Female Common Bluetail, Holland Woods – 7 Jun 2008)

It is a location where the Common Bluetail damselflies are in abundant. Although this species is very common and widespread throughout in Singapore, it is quite unique as the female has three different colour forms ie Golden orange, Olive green & Bluish green.

(Female Common Bluetail, Holland Woods - 24 May 2008)

(Female Common Bluetail, Holland Woods – 24 May 2008)

Wild Wild West, a location at the end of Corporation Road, is the next best place to shoot damselflies in dews. Unfortunately, it is now under construction for roads and drains and I heard recently that it will be used for industrial purposes.

(Female Commontail, Wild Wild West - 3 May 2010)

(Female Commontail, Wild Wild West – 3 May 2010)

Shooting damselfly in dews with dark background is equally appealing to me.

(Variable Wisp, Wild Wild West - 7 Nov 2009)

(Variable Wisp, Wild Wild West – 7 Nov 2009)

How about one with a backlighting as shown below?

(Female Commontail, Wild Wild West - 3 May 2010)

(Female Commontail, Wild Wild West – 3 May 2010)

If you like these images, wake up and shoot very early like me!

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Dragonfly (28) – Diplacodes Trivalis (侏儒蜻蜓)

Family : Libelludidae
Common Name : Chalky percher, Blue percher or Ground Skimmer
Status : Common
Location : Wild Wild West, Chestnut Ave, Jurong Woods II, Lornie Trail
This is a relatively small-sized dragonfly that usually prefers to perch lowly on grass. The male has beautiful blue eyes, a blue-grey body with black on the tail. The female has green eyes, greenish body and black markings on its tail. They are quite skittish in the day or late morning. Best time to shoot them is early in the morning while they are probably still sleeping.
(Female – Wild Wild West, 21 Mar 10)
(Female close-up – Wild Wild West, 21 Mar 10)
(Male – Wild Wild West, 8 Jun 08)

(Male close-up – Wild Wild West, 8 Jun 08)

Dragonfly (16) – Pantala flavescens

Family : Libellulidae
Common name : Wandering Glider
Status : Common
Location : Wild Wild West, Hort Park, Jurong Lake, Jurong Woods.

Pantala flavescens is the most widespread dragonfly species in the world!   It can be seen almost everywhere such as ponds, canals, plantation, coastal areas, glassland and even on the road.  I have seen them flying in good numbers while driving many times.  Although they are common, trying to get a good photo of them is surprising difficult as they are often active and flying non-stop when spotted.  Best time to shoot them is in the early morning when they have not awaken.

(Male – Jurong Lake, 25 Jul 2008)

(Male – Wild Wild West, 10 Oct 2009 )

Dragonfly (10) – Agrionoptera Insignis

Family : Libellulidae
Common name : Grenadier
Status : Common
Location : Venus Drive, Jurong Woods, Chestnut Avenue Nature Trail, Singapore Botanical Gardens, West Coast Park, Rifle Range Nature Trail, Wild Wild West, etc.

This is classified as an uncommon species but I have seen the males on many occasions such as Venus Drive, West Coast Park, Rifle Rifle Range Nature Trail, Jurong Woods, etc.   They are usually found in sluggish streams & shady drains.  A common species in my opinion.

The male has a a prominent red abdomen with black markings.

(Male – Singapore Botanical Gardens, 22 Dec 2008)

The female is thicker and the colour in its abdomen is duller.    The males can be commonly found but not the female.  A very cooperative species which usually perches around the same spot for a prolonged period.

(Female – Venus Drive, 15 Jan 2009)

Damselfly (14) – Ischnura Senegalensis [青紋細蟌]

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Common Bluetail
Status : Very Common
Location : Holland Woods, Kranji Nature Trail, Wild Wild West, etc.

(Mating with bright orange female - Holland Woods, 3 Mar 2008)

(Mating with bright orange female – Holland Woods, 3 Mar 2008)

 
This is the 2nd most common damselfly species in Singapore. Similar to Bi-coloured damselfly, they are usually found around ponds, drains, lakes, canals, etc. The male is greenish blue in colour but the female occurs in several colour forms, including one with overall bright orange, another with dull olive colour and also one similar like the male.
(Mating with dull olive female - Holland Woods, 25 Jan 2010)

(Mating with dull olive female – Holland Woods, 25 Jan 2010)

(Mating with a female that has similar colour of the male - Holland Woods, 7 Feb 2010)

(Mating with a female that has similar colour of the male – Holland Woods, 7 Feb 2010)

Damselfly (13) – Ceriagrion Cerinorubellum [彩虹細蟌]

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Ornate Coraltail or Bi-coloured Damsel
Status : Very Common
Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Holland Woods, Wild Wild West, Jurong Woods, Kranji Nature Trail, etc.

(Venus Drive, 16 Sep 2009)

This beautiful damselfly is the most common species in Singapore. They can be easily found in many of our parks particularly around ponds, drains, canal, open streams, etc. They could also be found in our forested areas. 

(Singapore Botanical Gardens, 29 Oct 2008)

They are relatively big in size and I have seen them, on a few occasions, attacking and feeding on other species of smaller damselflies. Both sexes have similar appearance except that the female has slightly darker marking.

Being common and having a colourful body, they are also the most photographed species. They are quite approachable and get a close-up shot is fairly easy.