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Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (female, oviposition, in flight)

Libellula vibrans


A female Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly laying eggs by the process of oviposition. The dragonfly skims the water repeatedly, picking up drops of water that are used to flick fertilized eggs toward the shore. The process typically lasts a few seconds to a few minutes. Look closely at the full-size versions of these photos -- notice the frog watching the dragonfly? True story: I was so focused on keeping the dragonfly in the camera's field of view that I never noticed the frog until it lunged at lunch a few seconds after Photo 2 was taken. (The predator missed its prey, but it was nearly game over for the dragonfly!) I was pleasantly surprised to see the frog when I reviewed the photos I shot. I wonder whether the female dragonfly was so focused on laying eggs that she never noticed the frog until it was nearly too late. Related Resource: "Flying frog attacks dragonfly"


Huntley Meadows Park, a 1,425 acre wetland area in Fairfax County, Virginia USA. Related Resource:


Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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Brian Parsons
Brian Parsons 11 years ago

wow - great inflight capture

Geodialist 11 years ago

I can't tell you how many times I've said to myself, "I need a camera with a bigger buffer!" I did create a spotting for the frog attack last summer, although I'm not completely satisfied with the way it turned out -- felt like I needed more than one video clip and more than five still photos (the old limit on PN) in order to tell the story properly.

KarenL 11 years ago

How annoying! Excellent video in the link - have you created a spotting for that one? If you haven't you should - you could use 6 of the 10 stills you took from the video.

Geodialist 11 years ago

Regrettably, no. The camera buffer was full after Photo 2 was taken, so I witnessed the frog attack with a useless paperweight in hand! Please see the "Related Resource" I provided, that showcases a similar event when I was fortunate to get the "action shot."

KarenL 11 years ago

Nice photos! Did you get the action shot?

Spotted by

Virginia, USA

Spotted on Jul 12, 2012
Submitted on Jul 14, 2012

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