Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seeking Dragonflies at Marina East

It's been a long time since I last went to Marina East, and thus today I decided to join LK and Tang for their dragonfly survey there.

Dragonflies are among my favourite subjects for photography, as the can look really good on photos. It's not always easy to photograph them though, as they are usually very alert. That's because they have very large compound eyes and have very good vision.

Dragonfly compound eyes and ommatidia
Looking at the eyes closely, you will see lots of ommatidia, which are basically visual units consisting of a lens system and a group of light sensitive cells. Each eye may consist up to 30,000 ommatidia, which together form a mosaic image in the dragonfly's brain.

Nonetheless, it's still much easier to take photos of dragonflies compared to butterflies, which hardly stop. Here are some of the dragonflies we saw and I managed to capture on photo :P

Dragonfly (Crocothemis servilia)
A male Crocothemis servilia. Commonly seen in Singapore, they seem to prefer disturbed open habitats.

Dragonfly (Crocothemis servilia)
"What you looking at?" - Managed to capture this photo just as this female Crocothemis servilia turned its head.

Dragonfly (Acisoma panorpoides)
A male Acisoma panorpoides. The females are yellow in colour.

Dragonfly (Neurothemis fluctuans)
An immature male Neurothemis fluctuans. This is one of the most common, if not the most common, dragonflies in Singapore.

Dragonfly (Neurothemis fluctuans)
The mature male Neurothemis fluctuans is dark red in colour.

Dragonfly (Rhyothemis phyllis)
A Rhyothemis phyllis.

We saw this huge dragonfly (Tramea transmarina) hunting a slightly smaller dragonfly, a Orthetrum sabina. Didn't managed to get a photo of the latter though.

Dragonfly (Brachydiplax chalybea)
This is probably a Brachydiplax chalybea.

Dragonfly (Orthetrum luzonicum)
This is probably a Diplacodes trivialis.

All in all, we saw lots of dragonflies of different species today, but sadly, we also didn't managed to find some species which we saw during our previous trips. The development work in the surrounding area probably caused the disappearance of the more sensitive species.

Hopefully, the next time I come here again, things would have improved :(

No comments: