Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dragons Underwater

Most people are familiar with dragonflies and damselflies as adults, but few are familiar with the much longer-lived and equally (if not more so) interesting larval stage. They live in the water in a variety of habitats and take on a tremendous variety of shapes and forms. Below are representatives of four different dragonfly families and one damselfly family.

Common Sanddragon
Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus)
Gray Petaltail
Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi)
Painted Skimmer
Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida)
New Texas Spiketail
Undescribed Spiketail (Cordulegaster sp.)
Ebony Jewelwing
Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)


  1. Great photographs. I once considered doing aquatic bugs on white as well. Are these live specimens?

  2. Yes, these are all live individuals.

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About Me

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John is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin. Kendra is a Professor at St. Edwards University in Austin. John has focused on dragonflies and damselflies in his career. He has two books Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-central United States and The Damselflies of Texas. He is currently working on the Dragonflies of Texas. John and Kendra are also currently both working on revising the Peterson Field Guide to Insects of North America. We have had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Latin America, Africa and other parts of the world where we enjoy taking photos of pretty much anything that will allow us to capture its image. We are lucky enough to be able to teach students about the amazing biodiversity we see and to travel and photograph together.