Damsel in Distress

Valance Brenneis, Brooke Eustis, Alpa Wintzer, Andrew Nichols, Alexa La Plante

Photo: Damselfly, Photographer: Brooke Eustis

Paddling through Lower Browns Park, we found a molted damselfly on the surface of the water. The water surface is a dangerous place for her, as she could easily be predated upon by fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians and is vulnerable to being carried away by strong winds. We plucked her from the water and afforded her shelter against the elements.

She went to work right away. Her first task was to clean her eyes with her front tarsi. Gradually, we saw her bulging eyes change color from gray to blue. Then she curled her nimble tail to separate her wings. They fluttered as she waited patiently for them to dry. After a couple of hours perched on the raft, she was ready to fly and live her new adult life.

Damsel in Distress

Molting gray to blue

Spreading wings for freedom flight

Naiad to adult

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