Sunday, November 28, 2010

Damselfly Rescue

 I often come across damselflies in my garden. They come in a range of colours, each one more beautiful than the other. The two pictures below were taken from a wild part of my mother's garden.
Damselflies are insects in the order Odanata. Damselflies are similar to dragonflies but the adults can be differentiated by the fact that the wings of most damselflies are held along, and parallel to the body when at rest. Furthermore, the hindwing of the damselfly is essentially similar to the forewing, while the hindwing of the dragonfly broadens near the base. Damselflies are also usually smaller, weaker fliers than dragonflies, and their eyes are separated. Source:Wiki.
The other day I found a damselfly caught in a spider web. Very gently, I pulled it out. Using the word pull does sound harsh for such a fragile-looking insect but damselflies are aggressive insects and many will pray on other damselflies. This one was a fighter. Its wings were stuck together and because it had been caught in the web, my hands felt like I had touched glue. I placed it on a datura bloom (the nearest one) making sure that it could grip the edge of the petal and put its wings back in order. If you click on the photos you'll see the remains of the web on its body.

After struggling for a while, it fell off the bloom and I placed it on a neighbouring plant, the sedge. The struggle with the gooey stuff was nearly over but the right wings were still stuck together. I left it there to hurry back to my chores. When I came to check it later, it was nowhere to be seen.
I looked under the plant but didn't find it. With the right wings stuck together, I doubt whether it could even fly  to the next leaf. Or maybe it did!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos Kanak and so very fragile looking. Hope you have a nice week.

Ginny said...

Oh, my!! These are absolutly stunning pictures!! I had to click on them to get a better look! I'm so glad you started this new blog! And I'm glad you told about what a damselfly is, because I had been wondering if it was a female dragonfly. How silly of me. How kind hearted you are, I wonder what happened to him? His body had that bend in it, can they do that, or was it from an injury in the web?

Wendy said...

Aww, I posted a comment, but blogger ate it.
Just wanted to say how beautiful your pics are. Poor little damselfly - I hope he flew away. Must have been very sticky pulling him out of the web. Lucky for him!

Titania said...

Good morning Kanak; a wonderful rescue story. I know how hard it is to get something so fragile like the wings of an Insect freed from a spiderweb. I hope it flew away! The damsels are so attractive, jewel colours, emerald, turquoise and topaz! Very beautiful and lovely.Kanak, have a nice week. T.

Randy Emmitt said...


Loved the first damselfly. She is a female wonder what the male looks like.

Nature Rambles said...

Mildred, thank you so much! Hope you and John have a great week too!

Ginny, glad you liked the pics!! Its body can bend into these amazing angles. Earlier even I used to think that damselflies were young dragonflies.I'd like to think that eventually it flew away! glad you stopped by! Happy to read your words. Will pop over to yours soon!

Trudi...thank you! You must be seeing many of them in your area too. I haven't photographed many this year.But I hope to spend some time on the edge of a rice field during the rainy season next year.

Randy...I wouldn't know that! I'll be able to ID the female only after a lot of guidance from my favourite Asian damsel/dragon websites!

Autumn Belle said...

It has been a very long time since I ever seen a damselfly in my city. They are indeed delicate beauties.

joey said...

A most interesting post. I had no clue about the damselfly, Kanak. Do hope she is OK.

Nature Rambles said...

Autumn Belle...I hope I'll be able to share more of them in the future.

Joey,hope so too. So glad to have you here! Thanks!

Cyren said...

Hey Kanak!

I absolutely love damselflies! They are much more prettier than dragonflies (in my opinion). Poor thing though, this one, Looks like his body broke in half or something but perhaps if he was gone he did fly away unharmed. Let's just hope the spider didn't come back for it ! >.<

Anyway are you going to update here more often? Because I am going to start following your blog :D