I made a brief visit late afternoon to a site near Reculver to see if I could find any dragonfly and damselfly nymphs to photograph at home in my tank. I specifically wanted to try to find a few Emperor Dragonfly nymphs as they make for a nice subject to photograph and definitely have a lot of character. After a search around I soon found a few damselfly nymphs, followed by a couple of Four spotted Chaser nymphs and then a few Common Darter nymphs, but no Emperor Dragonfly nymphs. I decided to try in some slightly deeper water and initially I did not find any but eventually I found a single Emperor Dragonfly nymph of around 15mm long. I searched this area again more thoroughly and was surprised to find another 8 Emperor Dragonfly nymphs ranging in length from 10mm to a fully grown individual of over 40mm. I would have thought they would have been more spread out but they were all nearly in the same area which seemed weird as they will predate each other quite happily. I returned most back to the water and brought a few back home where I had prepared the tank for an evening session. As they grow, they darken and the bigger individual made for a tricky subject to photograph and getting the light right was a challenge. I shall post some in due course if they turn out alright. I spent some time then photographing another 2 Emperor nymphs, one at 20mm and a smaller one at 10mm in length. Being lighter in colour, this made for an easier challenge and using some prepared leaves for the background and base and settings f8-f16, manual mode, ISO 400, speed set to 250 and in camera flash used, I ended up with some pleasing shots of these superb nymphs. All will be returned back the following morning to carry on their lives and hopefully I can return again soon to see what else I can find and continue to try to improve on the shots I am taking and experiment with various settings. fingers crossed some of the other shots work out and I shall post these in the next few days.
Emperor Dragonfly Nymph (20mm)