Friday, 27 May 2016

Barry's Bad Day

This morning I posted about an emerging dragonfly recognisable by some damage to the case of one of its wing pairs. When I returned to the pond mid morning I found the same individual well advanced in hatching, but clearly in trouble. The inflating right wings were stuck in the shell and he (or she) was still upside down and wriggling forlornly. Normally they flip upright and pull the abdomen clear before the wings inflate.

I decided to intervene (against some people's rules, but not mine). The story unfolds in the pictures below. At some point a concerned visitor to the pond christened this Dragonfly 'Barry', so Barry it is, although I cannot say he was definitely male, it is hereafter referred to as 'he'.

Emperor Dragonfly hatching. Left wings are stuck in the shell.

I gave him a stick to hang onto to and pull himself upright, but both wing and abdomen are still stuck

I carefully broke away the loose bits of shell, freeing the abdomen. The 'stuck' bits remain on the wings.

Very, very carefully I removed the remaining pieces, but the inflation stage was already apparently over.

Such a remarkable animal, just had to wait and see now if he could fly.

This fluid was leaking from the good wing side, not a good sign.

Eyes of an Emperor

Actually very hairy animals in close up

The wings hardened over time, but weren't looking too good.

Eventually they opened, but Barry failed to take off. Will he be there in the morning?

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