Friday, 5 February 2010

The Damselfly That Got Away!


This is one lucky damselfly indeed.

When I came across this damselfly, of the Pseudagrion species, it was actually on the water's surface and was trying to fly away as it had been caught in a spider's web.  It was fluttering its wings in vain as the spider's silk from the web was holding it back like a chain.  This damselfly kept struggling to get free.

Luckily for this damselfly, the spider did not get to it first and there was also some rubbish in this pond.  An old slipper to be exact.  And this damselfly, on one of its struggles, happened to land on the upturned slipper.  In this next photo, you can see the spider's silk quite clearly attached to the damselfly's abdomen.



Now that it's got a surface to hold on, this damselfly pulled with all it's might like a buffalo pulling a load uphill.  The textured surface of the slipper would have helped give a good grip going against the tensile strain of the silk, I guess.  It just kept walking and pushing forward step by step till the silk broke. 

In this next photo, you can see it straining against the pull of the spider's silk as it forged on.



Once it got free of the tangle, it flew off to a perch and tried to clean itself of the remnant trail of spider silk still attached to it.  It was swinging its abdomen back and forth in a series of swings and stretches.  I do realise it was in distress but what can I do but observe its behaviour and take a few photos?  So here they are.  Frankly, it was rather amazing to watch the damselfly's agility in its swinging and "gymnastic-like" movements.







And then finally it stops to rest!



What a start to the day for this little blue damselfly!



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