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The Beauty Of Jewelwings

It's settled: Ebony Jewelwings are my favorite insects of all. They look like butterflies in flight; but when they land, they look like no other insects you've ever seen. (Technically they're damselflies.) I love their vivid iridescent blue/green bodies, and their delicate black teardrop wings. Watching them feels almost like bird-watching. The males have their favorite perches, their showy displays, their courtship rituals. They chase each other as they vie for breeding rights, while the females perch demurely in groups, watching the show.

Jewelwings like clear, clean flowing water...not an easy thing to find in Ottawa. My favorite spot for watching them is Chelsea Creek in the Gatineau, along the Sugarbush Trail. It's a beautiful area and teeming with jewelwings in summer. At a bridge over the creek, territorial males haunt their chosen perches (usually overhanging blades of grass), returning, like avian flycatchers, to the same perch over and over after each sally over the water. This makes them easy to find!

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This next shot greatly benefits from viewing at high res. It's two females laying their eggs in the creek.

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Finally, an odd action shot. A male flew by and seemed to grab at each ovipositing female in turn. Was he guarding them? Or was he trying to interrupt the process, because they weren't his eggs?

Slender SpreadwingMy First Dragonhunter


July 20th, 2013 at 9:37 am
Very nice... the third one is particularly neat. The wing patterns and water texture are pretty, and the subject is unusual and interesting.

July 20th, 2013 at 11:09 am
Thank you! Chelsea Creek helped by being such a beautiful spot...that water texture was created, I think, by sunlight sparkling off gravel on the stream bed.