After photographing a Hairy Dragonfly nymph the other night after it had just completed a moult, I carefully removed the 30mm long skin that had been left behind. Dragonflies can moult up to 15 times during their nymph life cycle, each time leaving behind a perfect skin which most often I suspect, sinks to the bottom of the water where we would never see it and be able to study it. The white strings you can see are the tracheal linings, part of the respiratory system. I spent some time tonight taking a number of photos of the skin in a white tray from various angles, trying to capture details we would never get to see normally. Being quite a dark colour, it was not the easiest of subjects to photograph, despite the fact that it wasn't going to go anywhere! However using manual mode, in camera flash, ISO 400 and speed set to 250, I ended up with a number of pleasing images which I hope show off this super nymph skin in some detail. I shall keep monitoring them and hopefully continue to learn more about them and maybe see one hunting and catching prey or even completing another moult from start to finish. It will be March soon and only a month or so to wait until hopefully, I get the chance to capture one emerging all being well!
Business end of a Hairy Dragonfly Nymph skin
Underside View showing female genitalia