This has been the first year that I have purposely gone looking for dragonfly and damselfly exuvia, the larval skin of the dragonfly that is left behind clinging to the reeds etc after the dragonfly has emerged. I found a few throughout the year, a few Emperor Dragonfly exuvia which I photographed at home but wish I had photographed on site now and also witnessed a few dragonflies and damselflies that had just emerged and were still clinging on to the exuvia. A priority next year is to actually watch the whole event from leaving the water to emerging as an adult and hopefully capturing this sight on camera. I was lucky this year to witness a Migrant Hawker which had just emerged drying out near to its exuvia. Although the adult was stunning I was transfixed with the fresh exuvia and just amazed at the process of emergence and how this is left behind. The sun was behind me on this morning and with wellingtons on and the tripod and camera set up in position I was able to grab a few images. This one is probably the sharpest out of the bunch taken and shows all the details of the exuvia. After a few days of hanging on to the reeds, the wind normally blows them off into the water never to be seen again. A truly magical sight to witness.
Migrant Hawker Exuvia