Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ruby Whiteface by the dozens

Only once before I had seen more then a dozen of the Ruby Whiteface (Leucorrhinia rubicunda), but this time it was better. A better location for sure (Engbertsdijksvenen in the Netherlands close to the border with Germany). A better time maybe. It was the same time of year, late in April, but the last years have shown warm springs and this year was especially warm. That might have given the dragonfly species of Spring an advantage.

Anyway. While walking through the area I felt I had to stop every 50 or 100 meters to watch another concentration of the Ruby Whiteface. And every time I counted dozens of them. A very nice detail was that the area provided a nice background for photographing them. Previously I could only photograph them while sitting on a dark ground, and because this species is mostly black, the photos did not come out well. Better this time.

Ruby Whiteface, Leucorrhinia rubicunda, male

Ruby Whiteface, Leucorrhinia rubicunda, female. Obelisk posture

At one location there were plenty of copula's and I caught a female laying eggs, while the male was holding guard in the air near her.

Ruby Whiteface, Leucorrhinia rubicunda, copula

Ruby Whiteface, Leucorrhinia rubicunda, oviposition

To be honest, seeing dozens of the Ruby Whiteface on one location isn't very special. Other people have reported hundreds of them. An interesting photo is here, showing a tree full of them.

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Living in the Netherlands.