Although the pond is not looking its best right now -- I'm still fighting the algae -- I spent a few minutes just sitting and watching it yesterday. There were several damselflies around, chasing each other, landing. Then I noticed this:

A newly emerged adult!


I've seen the damselflies laying eggs in the pond all summer long, so it's good to know that some of the nymphs are making it to the adult stage.

I've read that the nymphs go through 10-12 instars, moulting their skins when they're too small -- just like a growing caterpillar does. When ready for their final shedding they climb up onto a plant, emerge in shortened form, then pump fluids into their wings and tail -- just like butterflies do with their wings.

I'm pretty sure this one hasn't got its final coloration yet, as most of the damselflies I see are dark brown or blue. There are plenty around right now, but they're hard to photograph because they're so small (compared to dragonflies):

It doesn't help that they're all resting a couple of feet from the pond's edge, making it hard to get the camera close. 

After a few minutes of trying to get photos of these other damselflies, I looked back over and the young adult was gone, leaving only its exuvia:

I was a bit disappointed that I hadn't seen it fly away, as it seemed that I should witness its first flight. 

Ah well, at least I got to see it newly-emerged, something I have never seen before.

This pond is the best thing I've added to the garden since I planted my first bamboo!


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