Monday, 14 July 2008

Three gems in my garden

Adam's Gem Libellago adami
Adam's Gem in my home garden - 28th June, 2008
Three females of this endemic Gem were recorded on 28th June in my home garden. This damselfly species proved to be a lifer, a garden tick and endemic no. 2 in my garden. I stumbled upon them when they were sitting pretty at midday on three leaves of a lone Pine Apple plant Ananas comosus. They were seen there for the next two days, and disappeared from radar afterwards.

This beautiful damselfly belongs to the family: Chlorocyphidae of which the members are commonly known as Jewels. They are unusual in having the body clearly shorter than the wings. There are four species of Jewels in Sri Lanka all of which are named as Gems!

Three of these are endemic. The only other Gem that I had photographed previously was the endemic Green's Gem Libellago greeni, which was photographed three years ago in a riverine forest at Nilagala on 20th June, 2005, during a FOGSL field trip. Here it is.

Green's Gem - male at Nilgala -20th June, 2005


Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Beautiful dragonflies and you always give such great information about them. Your pictures are wonderful!

bobbie said...

The damselfly is just beautiful. These insects fascinate me. But I have yet to capture one in a photo. They just move too fast for me.

Tabib said...

Good Macro shoots!

Amila Suwa said...

Hi Lin,
Thanks! Pleased to hear your comments. I like your recent dragonfly shots. And those relfections are just magic!

Hi Bobbie,
I have given dragonfly tips in comments in some of the previous posts. But, for you I will give some quick tips.

The easiest way to turn your home garden 'dragonfly-friendly' is by erecting a few tiny twigs on sunlit spots - away from vegetation. Some dragonflies love a bit of space and visibility to do their aeriel sorties. So, gradually you will see your sticks being used by them. Don't expect fast results. This tip given by me also worked for Old Crow.

And she is showing a lot of symptoms of contracting the highly pathogenic dragonfly bug!

First study their behaviour.
Most species are difficult to photograph when they are in dynamic mode.

It is those that give you the impression that 'they are too fast for me'

Ignore them!

Concentrate on the ones that come to settle on your twigs and other spots. Most of them hang around in one spot for long - especially in the mornings to dry their wings. Most species are sun-loving creatures, so midday is also good time.

If you make one flush trying to close in, just remain still. They will most likely come back to the same spot. At times you may have to back off a bit. Most of the time they will return as they have their favourite launch pads.

Push yourself until you get the first photograph of a dragonfly.
You will gradually, develop your own technique of approaching and photographing them. And soon there will dragonflies all over your blog!

Disclaimer: Dragonflies are addictive.

Hi Tabib,
Thanks a lot! Have a great day!

Margerie said...

Love your photos and great names (Jewels)

I haven't seen many dragonflies at our place. Will need to look closer! We see them hover the lake when we are there.

Amila Suwa said...

Hi Margerie,
A lot of ladies love Jewels!!

If you start looking, you may find a few in your home garden...why not try your luck with the twiggy method?

All the best!

chrome3d said...

I enjoyed these a lot. Much more than I enjoyed James Blunt stripping.

lareine said...

you really take wonderful photos!!! and you must have a lot of patience to be able to capture them... it would be wonderful to have some of these fantastic insects in our garden :)

Shannon said...

Great pictures of a hard to capture subject. Nice work.

Amila Suwa said...

Hi Chrome3d,
Thanks! Have a great day!

Hi Lareine,
Thanks! I am pleased to hear your comments. I get visited by some good insects and birds from time to time. That' because I keep a lot of vegetation in my garden.

Ho Shannon,
Nice to hear from you.
Yep, they can go unnoticed as they are quite small insects. Thanks for your comments!

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