Monday, June 8, 2009

The Blue Dasher

Last Saturday I was lucky to get this picture of a blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) feeding on a planthopper. We had a couple of thunderstorms during the previous week - which is quite unusual in the Central Valley this late in the year. The dragonflies, however (along with the rest of us) were quite happy for the rain.

I had been beating a few willows in a backwater area near Lost Lake (just below Millerton Reservoir in Fresno County) looking for beetles and had scared up several planthoppers from their resting place (you can see one of them in the second picture). They're apparently quite tasty to the blue dashers, which are known to feed on small insects. You can see a few uneaten parts of one in the mouth of the pictured dasher. It was so intent on finishing its meal that it let me get close enough for the candid shot.

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