04 June, 2009

BBC (Broad Bodied Chasers)

For those of you who aren't familiar with Chasers, take your average Dragonfly and give it steroids- they are the speedy, killing machines of the insect world and you can bet if a male visits a pond which is already occupied by another species, there is going to be trouble!

During the holidays I was lucky enough to encounter the mating and egg laying of the Broad Bodied Chaser by a secluded pond in Bushy Park on one very hot day. It all started as I was watching Damselflies on a pond. Suddenly a huge dragonfly pelted past, attacking and killing a Damselfly. I managed to ID it with my field guide as a BBC and watched it as it perched on a dead plant...

A few minutes later and a female emerged on scene, circling above the male. Without any hesitation, he pounced on her and... errr... did what he had to do.

This entanglement lasted for a few seconds, after which the male went back to perching on his plant and the female flew away to a nearby stream- allowing me to creep up on her for some close-ups...

Suddenly, without warning she flew back to the pond I'd previously watched her on and began to dip the water with her abdomen, releasing a single egg. She repeated this process several times and then left...

So there you go... a small insight into the secret life of the brilliant Broad Bodied Chaser.

7 comments:

The Early Birder said...

An excellent post Billy showing wildlife "in action".

Midmarsh John said...

A good illustrated read Billy. I've spent ages in the past trying to photo these in flight but they are so swift. Fortuntely the local ones have sometimes posed nicely every now and then. Not seen any this year but it is early for my part of Lincolnshire.

GRAMPS said...

Billy. I dont know about you becoming a naturalist [in whatever form] because I reckon that you would make a marvellous movie director. Your 'turn of phrase' is so graphic that it leaves nothing to the imagination. Well done young man - a most enjoyable read not to mention that I am now 'up to speed' on Chasers. GRAMPS

Rambling Rob said...

Great field report there, Billy. I haven't seen one of these things yet.

Daniel Trim said...

Great stuff billy,

I have also been learning about odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) but making a few mistakes, it's all very interesting though. It's always good to have the camera with you so you can ID them later!

All the best mate and keep the good pics coming,

Dan

Billy said...

Frank- Thanks, it was a very lucky find!

John- They sure are fast and were a nightmare to photograph! Good luck in your search for them.

Gramps- Thanks for the comments. Movie director?! I was thinking wildlife photographer! Speak soon

Rob- Thanks, Rob. I'd never heard of a Chaser before that trip, keep looking!

Dan- Cheers Dan. Congrats on finishing your exams and well done recently with seeing and photographing all those dragon/damselflies!

Best,
Bill

Matt Latham said...

My favourite dragonfly by far - great set of images Billy.