I have been generally very lucky with the dragonfly and damselfly nymphs that I have reared over the past few years through to emergence with only a couple of casualties that haven't emerged due to either falling as they have been emerging or have got stuck during emergence. The time of emergence is critical for all nymphs and no doubt there are a good number of dragonflies and damselflies that don't make it due to a number of reasons: too windy and blown into water when emerging, bad choice of emergence site and predated by birds, spiders to name a few. Having successfully photographed a female Hairy Dragonfly a few nights ago emerging at the pond and wanting to photograph a male emerging, a task I have still yet to accomplish, I went out the next morning to check the pond and was saddened to see a male Hairy Dragonfly which had failed in emerging. It seemed to have started emerging alright but the head was still encased in the exuviae and this proved to be fatal for this individual. Its a scene that no doubt plays out a lot in the odonata world every season. Whilst I don't like taking this sort of photo, it shows that its not always good news and every emergence comes with a variety of problematic issues. I just hope that I get another chance this season to photograph a male emerging. In better news, I checked the pond this morning after getting back in from a bit of birding to see an Azure Damselfly had emerged and was resting up in the reeds, my first this year and most welcome to see. Hopefully something will emerge during the week before or after work that I can study and photograph, weather permitting!
Hairy Dragonfly (male) failed Emergence