What is an Entomologist?

I am totally and utterly amazing at this photo! I tried all the different settings, Macro, Supermacro, flash on, flash off…I took probably a dozen photos of the nymph today. All blurry. And you, future entomologist, Math Whiz, Monarch Butterfly Watcher, YOU take this FANTASTIC CLOSEUP OF THE GREEN DARNER NYMPH! ARGGHHH! I am so impressed with your photo and so frustrated with my lack of photographic skills. *sigh* Nonetheless, here is your photo, Malachi. Truly amazing. And a photo of you as we get ready to move our 2nd 12-spotted skimmer to a safe place for the evening. I hope the weather is better tomorrow and we can release her. I hope for some sunshine. I hope…

Our First Dragonfly!


This beautiful, twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella) emerged in our classroom on April 29! If you look closely, you can see the shell/instar/exoskeleton of the nymph. Dragonflies prefer to emerge at night. The previously aquatic nymph (also called a naiad) climbs out of the water and finds a safe place. It then goes through the final stage of its incomplete metamorphosis. The nymph’s exoskeleton will split and the adult dragonfly will begin to emerge. John and I observed emerging blue dasher dragonflies last summer in our pond. It can take from a few minutes up to a few hours for this process to be complete! After the dragonfly emerges, it will cling to the shell of the nymph and allow its wings to dry. After a few hours, the dragonfly’s wings are dry and it can fly away!

Malachi and I released our skimmer at the swamp. I hope she is doing well and is eating many mosquitoes!

If you have any questions about dragonflies, please post them here. I am no expert, but hopefully I can give you good answer!

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