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It´s a Flat Wolf, man! It´s a Flat Wolf!

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by j.ankanpaa, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Hello all!

    That´s the way Libellula depressa is called here, a Flat Wolf. Finally I was able to find these...well, two of them anyway. In literature it´s writen they were pretty common still in 70s but nowadays you really need to do some work to find them. And it´s pretty uncertain what had happened as this species is known not to be too picky about the habitats... I sure don´t know...

    It´s ofcourse a very beautiful Dragon but it´s also one of the most interesting species to watch as there´re lots of things going on, they´re really active, non-stop hunting, protecting their territory etc. But once in a while they perch so that you can photograph them and often come back to the same spot they left for a hunt or chasing intruders away...

    During about a half an hour I watched this male there were lot of stuff going in so some of it must come out too...
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    This is probably the point he spotted another Flat Wolf male to fly by and he rushed to chase the intruder away
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    Too much vegetation, need to change the guarding post
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    This is good
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    ...Or maybe this is better (this pose was obviously made for the photog, which happened to be me :biggrin:) 
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    I went actually to shoot Ischnura pumilio, saw them too...shooting them mating made me especially happy...
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    This female I. pumilio looks old, there´s even some Lichenes growing on her :biggrin: She actually gave me a quite a demostration how Damsels hunt. She kept flying slowly between vegetation and made fast "pokes" towards leaves. So, these hunts smaller bugs which are on vegetation more than trying to hunt them in-flight like Dragons do...
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    First shot of Calopteryx virgo this season
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    Once again a female Calopteryx splendens... they´re always so nice...
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    This is very common species here, but it´s also a very beautiful Damsel.
    Female Platycnemis pennipes
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    All shots with D200 + Nikkor 300mm AF-S f4 and this time all of these with a PN-11 tube as I was going to shoot Damsels when the L. depressa appeared...

    Thanks for Looking! :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2008
  2. Spectre


    Feb 20, 2008
    Congrats on finally getting the Flat Wolf. Very nice shots. The sixth one is outstanding. The shot of the Calopteryx splendens is spectacular.
  3. Amazing images again, Jukka!

    Has to be a regional issue, but L. depressa is one of the most common dragons here in eastern Austria.

  4. tojor


    Jul 27, 2005
    Great shots Jukka. The L. depressa is one of my favorites to watch, never a dull moment. Did you see any matings? Guess not or you would have shot it. :tongue: They are not as common as other species here but some places there are plenty of them. Often people with small ponds in the garden have a couple of males and females.

    Love the damsel shots as well. The mating Ischnura pumilio shots are very pretty.
  5. Jukka - as always beautiful shots
  6. photofox


    Jun 8, 2008
    Over here
    Beautiful shots, all very sharp with lovely compositions.
  7. Counter


    Sep 18, 2007
    Breathtaking Jukka!
  8. Al D.

    Al D.

    Apr 3, 2008
    Central Florida
    Fantastic images!!

  9. Another wonderful series, Jukka. The photos of the Flat Wolf are excellent. I believe we have them here, in Ohio. Thank you for sharing them.
  10. Thanks, Paul!

    Thanks, Harry!

    I think that too, being a regional issue... Last summer in Bulgaria I saw quite many L. depressas, but then again none L. quadrimaculata which is one of the most common species here, they´re basicly everywhere... That´s ofcourse one possibility that widely spread L. quadrimaculta has affected the populations of L. depressa as they use quite often similar habitats...

    Didn´t find any studies about this issue...

    Tak, Torben!

    I didn´t see any females... But by looking those slight worn spots on his abdomen it might be he has met a female :smile:

    These´re pretty much as wanderers (based on what I just read) and they usually move ahead after couple of days if no female/s found...

    Thanks, Paul!

    Thanks, Nigel!

    Thanks Counter!

    Thanks Al!

    Thanks Tom!

    I think that Libellula depressa is a European Dragonfly, you have similar looking species though, like 8- and 12-spotted Skimmers... and some other Skimmers too...
  11. I would be very surprised if this was the case. Their flight times are different in Europe. Bob F.

    Superb images as usual.
  12. Hi Bob!

    Well that was just a guesswork, I think I need to ask if there´s any studies made here...or more educated "guesses"...

    About the flying periods, I don´t know about the rest of Europe but atleast this (civilized :biggrin:)  part of the Europe they are in-flight the same time: L. quadrimaculata starting couple of weeks earlier and continuing about a month longer... Here´s the dates (these are alltime records):

    L. quadrimaculata 8th of may -> 10th of Sep
    L. depressa 21th of May -> 9th of Aug
  13. Really top notch Jukka.

  14. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    Nice series, great images.
  15. Here are ours. Sorry seem to have got it wrong. :confused: :confused: 

    Great Britain.

    L.depressa April -July
    L.quad. Mid May-End of August.

    Come to think of it I do not know of many, if any pools that have both species flying around. I think it must therefore be habitat. L depressa certainly likes smaller pools than L.quad. You will find the former in small garden ponds BUT NOT L.quad. There you are then!:biggrin: Get a massive government grant and do a thesis on all the pools of Europe.:cool: :cool:  I will give you a reference.:eek: :eek: 

    BW. Bob F.
  16. Thanks, Alex!

    Thanks, Jeff!

    Hi Bob!

    That might be it as often L. quads appear in large quantities as L. deps just a few...
  17. I have been giving this quite a lot of thought and have tried to analyse the habits where both species occur, and I am even more convinced it is the size of the pool/lake.
    L. depressa emerges before L. quad. and this would signify a smaller body of water because it would heat up much quicker than a larger one. Depth may also play a part, as I do know of a large body of water that is very shallow which has both species on it.
    I have also checked my records over the past 150 years:eek: :eek:  and there is no doubt in my mind that L.quad. does not [/B fly over small pools that are only 20-30ft in diameter. This is probably why garden pools have L. depressa and not L.quad. Where as larger expanses of water have L.quad but not L.depressa. However, I do know of one site where both soecies appear BUT this large expanse of water has small subsidary pools on one side of it, and consequently the L.depressa could have come from there.

    I have really enjoyed thinking about this, as it gives me something to do in my old age :biggrin::biggrin:and keeps my mind active. This is essential in my state of health especially as I am now linked to an oxygen concentrator 24/7 and my tubing does not allow me to wander too far.:wink::wink:

    Best wishes. Bob F.
  18. tojor


    Jul 27, 2005
    I have been wondering about the same thing myself. Those are two of my favorite dragonflies because they are so fun to watch. Never a dull moment. I often go out to the different water holes in my area. I was wondering why I almost always find L. guad. but almost never L. depressa. Most of the lakes are in the woods but with open spaces. At my favorite spot there are plenty of L. guads every year and this year I saw a young female L. depressa defending her stick. I never saw her again nor any males.

    A couple of weeks ago I found a place, a meadow with a big very shallow lake surrounded by some smaller waterholes. Mostly used as cattle-drinking area. There I found over 100 L. depressa and only 4-5 L. guads. I've been there 4 times since then and I've noticed that the L. guad pretty much stays in one corner of the bigger lake. The depressas are all over the place. That area also has some O. cancellatum, A. viridis, A. isoceles, A. imperator and now some A. grandis have shown up.
  19. That is really interesting, and shows that we are not just handsome men!

    Bob F

  20. Indeed! :smile:

    It´s great to hear your more experienced guys´ thoughts about this... I can only really guess as since I started to shoot Odonata more seriously about 2 years ago I have seen L. deps two times: once last year, once this year... my grand total is 5 (3m/2f)... so, I can actually just sit here and enjoy your conversation :smile:
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