Monday, 1 February 2010

A Clubtail

It has been a long day.  But, yes... it was another great dragonfly day!

As I was walking towards the pond this morning, a dragonfly shot out from nowhere on my right and landed on the floor directly in front of me.  I managed to get a shot of it before it flew off.  Later, at another pond, I spotted this species again and took a few more photos. 

Here's a photo of the dragonfly that greeted me this morning...



It is the Ictinogomphus decoratus of the family Gomphidae.  The male has hindwing length of 39mm, it is common in open habitats and is widespread in this region.



The Gomphidae family of dragonflies are also known as Clubtails due to the enlarged abdominal segment, from S7 to S9, which gives it a club-like appearance.  It is especially more prominent in the males.



As these dragonflies are on average a little larger and also more stocky-looking, the "Clubtails" do give them a somewhat beastly appearance sometimes.  Bouncers come to mind.  Yet, these dragonflies are usually very wary and will fly off when approached making it quite a task to take photos of them.



The above photo shows the Ictinogomphus decoratus perched on the same twig as a red dragonfly, I'm guessing the Crocothemis servilia,  while another red dragonfly buzzed by.



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