Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope)

These photos were taken at Toyonogata back in July. A tricky subject. Fast flying and rarely came into range.it/they would totally disappear out of range then zoom by. Not sure if there was just one or a couple. Appeared to be chasing smaller dragonflies. I think the best I can do is identify it as a Lesser Emperor, Anax parthenope. I feel there is a tinge of red at the base of the tail which is different to my references though. I’ve included some so-so images just because they are at slightly different angles.

Taiwan Shioya-tombo (Orthetrum japonicum) and White-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum albistyum)

Here are two more dragonflies I found at Fukushimagata yesterday. The first is smallish but similar to a larger one of the same family, Orthetrum. Both are the same colours. I hope I got the IDs right. I have a book on dragonflies of Japan in Japanese but had to search the web for common names. I guess I should give references, but I’m sure if you search, you will find the same.

The above and below show both male and female Orthemtrum japonicum, Taiwan Shioya-tombo.

Below: The larger White-tailed Skimmer. This seemed less common than the smaller.

Golden Flangetail (Sinictinogomphus clavatus)

Went out hunting for dragons early today at Fukushimagata. Captured three or four. The most striking, I argue, were these beauties. I am being bold, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the are Sinictinogomphus clavatus Golden Flangetails. They belong to the club-tail dragonflies. I mostly identified them by the large club at the end of their tails. A stunning species.

Black Dragons

Dragonflies have been becoming more numerous in Niigata since the start of July. I visited the pond in the park near Big Swan at Toyanogata a couple of times. The weather has been humid but not so hot. I photographed several kinds of dragonflies, but my favourites are the black ones. Depending on the angle they shimmer with various hues. Purple, then green or blue and their movements are very graceful.

Atrocalopteryx arata, Haguro Tombo (Black-winged Dragonfly) Actually a large damselfly.

The beautiful damselfly above is almost 7 centimetres in length. I saw just the one and was lucky to get these shots before it disappeared through the green. It was a very nice encounter indeed.

A more common beauty is what reminds me of the “flutterer” group of dragonflies I saw in Australia earlier this year. There are quite a few “Chou Tombo” or “Butterfly Dragonflies” getting around Toyanogata. I first found them there 11 years ago. Rhyothemis fuliginosa. They are really graceful and make me feel like I’m wandering around in a Tomb Raider video game. See the images below:

Rhyothemis fuliginosa,   Chou Tombo,  Butterfly Dragonfly

Rhyothemis fuliginosa, Chou Tombo, Butterfly Dragonfly

I’ve captured a number of other dragons too, and the season has a long way to go. Let’s hope I get more.