Posts Tagged ‘Mocha Emerald dragonfly’

Mocha Emerald dragonflies (in flight)

January 29, 2014

The preceding gallery shows Mocha Emerald dragonflies (Somatochlora linearis) spotted on 25 July 2012 flying along an intermittent stream running through the “Wildlife Sanctuary,” one of seven small parks owned and maintained by the Community Association of Hollin Hills, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

The adult flight period for Mocha Emerald dragonflies seems to be approximately one month for this location, centered on mid-July.

Mature Mocha Emerald dragonflies have emerald green eyes, as their name suggests — don’t be fooled by the play of light from the camera flash off the 30,000 facets in each of the dragonfly’s compound eyes! Speaking of the play of light, the “sparkling bokeh” background was caused by out-of-focus points of light reflected from the water surface about one- to two feet below the dragonflies.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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Mocha Emerald dragonflies (males)

January 27, 2014

The following gallery shows Mocha Emerald dragonflies (Somatochlora linearis) spotted on 25 July 2012 perching along an intermittent stream running through the “Wildlife Sanctuary,” one of seven small parks owned and maintained by the Community Association of Hollin Hills, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. These individuals are males, as indicated by their terminal appendages.

Mocha Emerald dragonflies seem to prefer shady spots, unlike most odonates, so be sure to bring a flash-equipped camera when you go hunting Mochas. And be sure to wear your Bug Shirt and Pants — mosquitos like shady spots too!

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Emerald dragonfly (female, oviposition)

January 2, 2012

The following “raw” video clip (unedited) shows a female Mocha Emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora linearis), laying eggs by the process of oviposition. The process typically lasts a few seconds to a few minutes.

This individual was spotted during a photowalk through the “Wildlife Sanctuary,” one of seven small parks in the community of Hollin Hills, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

Video Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Mocha Emerald dragonflies

July 22, 2011

The following photos show couple of Mocha Emerald dragonflies (Somatochlora linearis) spotted during a photowalk through the “Wildlife Sanctuary,” one of seven small parks owned and maintained by the Community Association of Hollin Hills, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. The Mocha Emerald dragonfly has bright green eyes, a hairy brown and green thorax, and a black abdomen. It perches vertically.

Photo 1 of 2 is a copy of the original photograph, cropped to highlight the dragonfly; Photo 2 of 2 is the original photograph. Photo 1 was cropped and sharpened using Apple Aperture, a professional-grade tool for organizing and adjusting photos.

Img_3738-ver2_apertureImg_3738_aperture

The following photo was cropped using Aperture.

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I tested an idea recently that worked fairly well: To improve the focus of my iPhone photos of dragonflies, I held a piece of card stock behind the dragonfly (shown above) in order to reduce the depth of field. I must say, the dragonfly was remarkably cooperative! An unexpected consequence: The extraordinary detail that is visible in the photo, especially noticeable in the dragonfly’s wings. One problem I can’t solve easily using an iPhone 3GS camera: Mocha Emerald dragonflies seem to like to perch in shade; iPhone 3GS cameras don’t work well in low light. Two take-aways from my simple experiment: 1) I need to use a bigger piece of card stock; and 2) I need to devise some sort of poor man’s light reflector to illuminate subjects in shadow.

Editor’s Note: These dragonflies were misidentified as American Emeralds. The OdonataCentral checklist for Fairfax County, Virginia USA does not include the American Emerald dragonfly. That doesn’t necessarily mean the dragonflies I spotted aren’t American Emeralds, but it means it’s less likely. Of the two Emerald species included on the OdonataCentral checklist, my spotting more closely resembles a Mocha Emerald (Somatochlora linearis). Mocha Emerald also appears on the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park Dragonflies and Damselflies species list; American Emerald does not. (Huntley Meadows Park is located within walking distance of the “Wildlife Sanctuary.”) [Post last updated on 24 December 2011.]


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