Black Beauty! (Re-post)

(This post was originally published in June 2010)

Yesterday afternoon, as I was mowing our front acreage near the road, I stirred up some really interesting creatures as the lawnmower passed close to where they were perched. I went ahead and finished my mowing and after dinner, I grabbed the camera and went back to capture some images. Luck was on my side and I found 6 of these Black Beauties, all sitting on greenery at the edge of some woods; a small drainage ditch is also located in that area (and is full of water with all the rain we’ve had over the past couple of weeks!). With some help from my Twitter friends, my Black Beauties have been identified as Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies (Calopteryx maculata).

The first two images are a male and a female. The male has a sleek, neon-like green/blue sheen, with black wings. The female has less of this sheen on their abdomens, but has a white spot on the edge of their wings:

"Black Beauty" male ?

Male Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly

  "Black Beauty" female ?

Female Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly


As I was photographing them, one of the Black Beauties flew from it’s perch, did a quick fly-around, then landed back on the same perch. I then saw that he had something in his mouth … an insect! As I shot away, this little guy was busy chewing up his meal:

"Black Beauty" with insect

Another interesting thing about these brilliantly colored creatures is their wing structure. It appears they have 3 wings! In this next image, you can see the 3 wings as they are folded up:

"Black Beauty" with folded wings


And in this next image, I managed to obtain a “blur” shot as this male spread his wings for a brief moment, then returned them to their resting position. This blur shot was created because I was shooting at a very slow shutter speed (1/10 second) due to the sun being low in the sky (and behind some woods) and shooting in deep shade. Just wonder if this may be some type of display that the male was doing:

"Black Beauty" spreading wings

I hope you enjoyed these “Black Beauties” as much as I did! And yes, I will be back out there later today with my camera :o)

Posted in Macro Photography, Nature Photography
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