Posts Tagged ‘Wandering Glider dragonfly’

Test shots: Pantala flavescens exuvia

November 14, 2018

A Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens) odonate exuvia was received from Andy Davidson, a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia USA. Sincere thanks to Andy for sharing this beautiful specimen!

The exuvia is a “cast skin” from a nymph that was collected in the field and reared in the laboratory as part of a research project entitled “Predator-Prey Interactions in a Changing World.”

Test shots of the specimen were taken using a relatively small aperture of f/16 for greater depth of field. Each photo is a “one-off,” that is, not a composite image. Focus stacks will be created sometime in the near future, after the exuvia is rehydrated and posed for better composition.

Related Resources

Tech Tips

The following equipment was used to shoot both of the macro photographs featured in this post: Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera; Fujifilm MCEX-11 extension tube; and Fujinon XF80mm macro lens. The camera was set for both manual exposure and manual focus. That’s right, a switch on the camera body is used to set the type of focus. It’s a Fujifilm thing. Actually, back-button focus was used to autofocus the image and adjusted manually as necessary. That’s also a Fujifilm thing. For details, see “More Tech Tips” (below).

Godox XProF radio flash trigger, mounted on the hotshoe of my X-T1, was used to control a pair of off-camera Godox TT685 Thinklite TTL Flashes (TT685F and TT685C) set for radio slave mode. Each flash was fitted with a snap-on plastic diffuser.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 was used to spot-heal and sharpen both images.

More Tech Tips

Focus peaking can be activated when the camera is set for manual focus mode. Using back-button focus (AF-L button) in manual mode enables one to retain full control of the exposure triangle, focus quickly, and see what’s in focus before shooting a photograph. Fuji Back Button Focus (4:06), a YouTube video by Ashraf Jandali, provides a clear demonstration of how to use back-button focus on the Fujifilm X-T1.

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

December 14, 2016

Wandering Glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) was spotted at Mason Neck West Park (MNWP), Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male. Wandering Gliders do not display sexual dimorphism; terminal appendages may be used to differentiate females and males.

A Wandering Glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) spotted at Mason Neck West Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

04 OCT 2016 | Mason Neck West Park | Wandering Glider (male)

I like the subtle beauty of the coloration/pattern of markings along the abdomen of Wandering Gliders.

A Wandering Glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) spotted at Mason Neck West Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

04 OCT 2016 | Mason Neck West Park | Wandering Glider (male)

This guy was very skittish! I spooked him when I backed up for a slightly wider view of the scene — usually that happens the other way around.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Wandering Glider (terminal appendages)

October 2, 2016

Wandering Glider is one of at least five major species of dragonflies known to be migratory in North America. One field marker most migratory dragonflies have in common: broad hindwings.

The very broad hindwings represent an important adaptation for gliding, … Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 11276-11277). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dragonflies are classified as either “fliers” or “perchers,” based upon their feeding habits. Wandering Gliders are fliers; it is uncommon to see fliers perching.

The following gallery of annotated photographs shows two Wandering Glider dragonflies (Pantala flavescens) spotted at Mason Neck West Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA: one is a female; the other a male. Wandering Gliders do not display sexual dimorphism; terminal appendages may be used to differentiate females and males.

Female

Female dragonflies have a pair of cerci (superior appendages) that have little or no function.

A Wandering Glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) spotted at Mason Neck West Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

27 SEP 2016 | Mason Neck West Park | Wandering Glider (female)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation. Aesthetically speaking, I prefer the subtle difference in composition of a similar photo that doesn’t show the cerci as well as the featured image.)

Male

Male dragonflies have three terminal appendages, collectively called “claspers,” that are used to grab and hold female dragonflies during mating: an upper pair of cerci (“superior appendages”); and a lower unpaired epiproct (“inferior appendage”).

A Wandering Glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) spotted at Mason Neck West Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

27 SEP 2016 | Mason Neck West Park | Wandering Glider (male)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation. A similar photo with an obstructed view of the dragonfly’s wings provides a slightly closer look at the body.)

Related Resources: Digital Dragonflies, presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | female | top view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | female | side view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | male | top view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | male | side view

See interactive three-dimensional (3-D) virtual imagery of the five migratory dragonflies, including Wandering Glider, provided by the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

September 25, 2014

The following photographs show a Wandering Glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) spotted near the end of the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park on 23 September 2014. This individual is a male, based upon the following description.

Male: Eyes reddish; face orange. Thorax and abdomen yellow, upper part of abdomen orange. Darker orange median line on abdomen, expanded on each segment and forming black spots toward rear, on S8–10. Cerci black, obviously pale at base. Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 11282-11283). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Remember that “S8-10″ refers to abdominal segments eight through 10 (of 10), numbered from front to back.

It is uncommon to see the broad-winged skimmers from the genus Pantala perching. Dragonflies are classified as either “fliers” or “perchers,” based upon their feeding habits. Wandering Gliders are fliers. I was fortunate to be able to “work the shot” when this guy landed for a long rest during the afternoon!

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider is one of at least five major species of dragonflies known to be migratory in North America. One field marker most migratory dragonflies have in common: broad hindwings.

The very broad hindwings represent an important adaptation for gliding, … Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 11276-11277). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Related Resources: Digital Dragonflies, presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | male | top view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | male | side view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | female | top view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | female | side view

See interactive three-dimensional (3-D) virtual imagery of the five migratory dragonflies, including Wandering Glider, provided by the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Wandering Glider dragonfly

October 5, 2013

Wandering Glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens)

The preceding photograph shows a Wandering Glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) spotted near the end of the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park. I think this individual is a male, based upon the following description.

Male: Eyes reddish; face orange. Thorax and abdomen yellow, upper part of abdomen orange. Darker orange median line on abdomen, expanded on each segment and forming black spots toward rear, on S8–10. Cerci black, obviously pale at base. Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 11282-11283). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Remember that “S8-10” refers to abdominal segments eight through 10 (of 10), numbered from front to back.

It is uncommon to see the broad-winged skimmers from the genus Pantala perching. Dragonflies are classified as either “fliers” or “perchers,” based upon their feeding habits. Wandering Gliders are fliers.

Related Resources: Digital Dragonflies, presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | male | top view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | male | side view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | female | top view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | female | side view

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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