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Dragons at Rest

Dragons at Rest
Photo Information
Copyright: Haraprasan Nayak (haraprasan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1570 W: 101 N: 5421] (20403)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-12-08
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix E5600
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-03-24 7:40
Viewed: 3238
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This was taken in almost dark conditions with fill flash. They were resting high up. I had to made a arrangements such as a table above that another small table and above that a chair. Then only I got this one. The quality is not so good because of a night time capture and my camera ISO is not good enough.

Why do Dragonflies sometimes appear in large swarms?

Several species of dragonfly are known to collect in large aggregations or swarms. In Europe, the Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) and the Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) have been observed to do this.
In most cases this appears to be due to very favourable feeding conditions in the locality. It may also be a "courting" group with males actively searching for females. This is less likely as males are much more aggressive to each other when looking for a mate.
The Four-spotted Chaser occasionally collects in these large aggregations before making a mass movement to another locality (like a bird migration). The reasons for this are unclear but may be due to population pressures.
There are records from the US of migratory assemblages of species such as the Green Darner (Anax junius) and various species of Saddlebags (Tramea).

In most cultures dragonflies have been objects of superstition. European folklore is no exception. Many old myths have been lost during the history, but fragments of these old myths are still living in old local names for dragonflies. Only in Germany dragonflies have had over 150 different names. Some of these are Teufelsnadel ("Devil's needle"), Wasserhexe ("Water witch"), Hollenross ("Goddess' horse"), Teufelspferd ("Devil's horse") and Schlangentöter ("Snake killer"). Also the name Snake Doctor has been used in Germany. In England the name Devil's darning needle and Horse stinger have been used. In Denmark the dragonfly have got such different names as Fandens ridehest ("Devil's riding horse") and Guldsmed ("Goldsmith"). Different names of dragonflies referring to them as the devils tools have also occurred in many other European cultures, some examples are the Spanish Caballito del Diablo ("Devil's horse") and the French l'aiguille du diable ("Devil's needle").

The Swedish name for dragonfly is trollslända, which means "hobgoblin fly" in English. Long time ago people in Sweden believed that hobgoblins, elves, brownies and such creatures lived in our great woods. In that folklore the dragonflies was considered to be the hobgoblins twisting tools. During the history the dragonflies even have been connected with love and female, the names damselfly (England), Demoiselle (France) and Jungfer (Germany) are some examples of those nice associations. An old Swedish name for dragonfly is Blindsticka ("Blind stinger"), this name comes from the opinion that a dragonfly could pick out your eyes. Other people thought that the dragonfly could sew together your eyelids. The same name appears as well in Norway ("Öyenstikker") as in Germany ("Augenstecher").

In certain parts of Norway, the dragonfly is also known as "ørsnildra". The exact meaning of this word is unknown to me but the part "ør", does obviously refer to the Norwegian word for "ear", as people (and especially children) often thought that the dragonfly would poke holes in their ear-drums if it got inside their ears!

An other old Swedish name is Skams besman ("Devil's steelyard"), this name probably depends on the dragonfly's body shape that, with some imagination looks like the weighting tool. In the folklore this was interpreted as that the Devil used the dragonfly to weight the people's souls. When a dragonfly flew around your head, your soul was weighted and you should expect seriously injury as punishment. It is very interesting that, despite of those ideas that the dragonfly should be the Devil's tool, the dragonfly have been a holy animal in Scandinavia. In the Æsir cult the dragonfly was thought to be the love goddess Freya's symbol.

Some of the Latin names of dragonfly families have interesting meanings: The name Libellula might have been derived from the word libella ("booklet") referring to the resting dragonfly, which wings, with some imagination, looks quite like the pages of an open book. The name Odonata was created by Fabricius in 1793 as name for the whole dragonfly order, means "toothed". In some countries, e.g. Indonesia, many African and South American countries both the adult and larva dragonflies are caught to be eaten fried or in soup. In China and Japan the dragonflies has been treated as holy animals, and believed to have medical qualities. Even today the dragonfly Sympetrum frequens is used as fever reducing drug.

Source: British Dragonfly Society & petzon.se

earthtraveler, uleko, boreocypriensis, matatur, ramthakur, jaycee, jhm, Alex99, bahadir, xTauruSx, zulfu, marhowie, nkasot has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-03-24 8:00]

Hello Haraprasan,
Wow, what a terrific collection of Dragonflies! Brilliant capture, some stand out really well with their wings against the blue sky. Lovely green leaves as a background too. Very interesting and a splendid composition!
Many thanks, Ulla

Hello my beloved friend Haraprasan,
Splendid macro shot of these beautifull dragonflies in large swarms friend with excelent DOF, POV and sharpness. TFS.


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-03-24 9:46]

Hi Hara,i can't believe! How many dragonflies toghether! My prefered insect! I wish to be there..eheheh..My best compliments for this great pic and for the very interesting note too,have a nice day,Luciano

Interesting capture of quite a natural, but also a beautiful scene Haraprasan, something must be attracting such swarms to the plants but I don't know what. In Turkish these beautiful creatures are known as "Teyyare Böcekleri", which means "Aeroplane Bugs"!

Ciao Haraprasan,
non ho mai avuto la fortuna di assistere ad un simile spettacolo.
Complimenti per la foto, davvero molto interessante e documentativa.
Grazie di condividerla con noi,

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2008-03-24 23:23]

What an interesting shot, Haraprasan.
Very unusual scene, for me anyway.
So many dragonflies together, making a wonderful tableau.
You did a great job with the light.
TFS. ; )

If one were to glance at this picture casually, one would assume it was a picture of dry twigs, HP :-).
Instead, you have got a horde of these single species Dragonflies.
I guess this is the record number of dragonflies within one frame, which is never going to be broken on TN :-)!
I have counted 20 already but I could be wrong.
Making a pyramid of furniture was worth the risk to shoot this unusual image.
Well done and TFS.

Hello Haraprasan,

Amazing picture with all these dragonflies. Good lighting. Very nice colours.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-03-25 8:56]

Hi Haraprasan,

What a fascinating shot! I have never seen so many dragonflies in one place. They show up very well against the green leaves and the blue sky. I love the different shades of green in this picture - very nice indeed.


  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2008-03-25 9:37]

Hello Haraprasan,

What a very great group dragonflies, excellent composition.
Almost between the green colours difficult all to recognize.
Good note too.
Very well done.

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-03-25 9:58]

Hello HP, What a lovely collection. You are just lucky and probably little more closeup would have been wonderful. But still a classic shot. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-03-25 10:17]

Hi Haraprasan.
Last year I met dragonfly only few tines in our places and had not opportunity to take even one picture. You have met whole army of these nice creatures. Amazing pattern, created by dragonflies and leaves. Simply great lights abd colours. Sharpness and details of the image are stunning as well as the composition of the shot and framing of the image. Bravo and many thanks for visit and kind comments.

Hello Haraprasan,
Superb capture. TFS. Regards,

Hello Haraprasan,
Wonderful shot of these beautiful dragonflies with excellent details. Thanks for sharing this beauty. Regards,

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-03-27 3:30]

Hello Haraprasan,
Another wonderful shot of these dragonflies. TFS. Regards,

Hello Haraprasan,
Very cool "group" photo, I've never seen this behavior myself.
With the poor lighting conditions, a great result :)
Interesting notes & TFS!

Hi Haraprasan,
Splendid shot of these odonats with nice details, lighting and framing. TFS. Regards,

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