1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Some fresh Bulgarian Gomphidae

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by j.ankanpaa, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. Hello!

    So, I spend a week with other members of Finnish Odonata Society in Bulgaria. Lot of great new species for me to photgraph, beautiful places to see and 1700km (1050mi) to enjoy extremely bumby roads and extreme traffic culture...

    #1 A female G. flavipes emerging
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/16.0    1/45s    ISO 200

    #2 There´s not that many species which can emergence horizontally
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/250s    ISO 200

    #3 Wings finally filled
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/250s    ISO 200

    #4 A male G. flavipes emerging
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/400s    ISO 200

    #5 If you know where to look you can easily tell it´s a male :smile:
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/180s    ISO 200

    #6 This is how grown-up G. flavipes female look like (cound´t get a male to pose)
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/250s    ISO 200

    #7 A female O. forcipatus emerging
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/50s    ISO 400

    #8 Strange thing is that she is doing it in water standing on the exuvia
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/45s    ISO 400

    #9 Wings finally filled...
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/50s    ISO 400

    #10... and ready for her maiden flight
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/45s    ISO 400

    #11 A male O. forcipatus after his maiden flight
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/200s    ISO 400

    #12 And this is how he will look like...
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/11.0    1/320s    ISO 400

    #13... when growing up
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/5.6    1/320s    ISO 200

    Thanks for looking! :smile:
  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Wow wonderful shots
    Great showing of the transformation and information
    Thank You
  3. tojor


    Jul 27, 2005
    Hej Jukka.

    Great captures. I just love those dragons. Soooo pretty.
  4. What a capture! Impressive.
  5. Great set of images Jukka.

    All with the 300mm?? What tripod set up to you use if I may ask?

  6. OK...
    "#5 If you know where to look you can easily tell it´s a male "

    I don't know how to tell the male and female...
    could you share this information please...

    BTW...great shots!!!
  7. Thanks, Gale! :smile:

    Tak, Torben!
    Yes, pretty, pretty, pretty! :smile:

    Thanks, Jerry! :smile:

    Thanks, Alex! :smile:

    Yes, all with the 300mm. I have a Gitzo G2220 + a Markins M10. I guess the tripod could allways be sturdier, but I like it as you can adjust legs in any angle (no pre-adjust as most tripods)... I use it with very short column (2in) so that when going on ground level I don´t have to tilt the column... The Markins head is absolutely beauty to use, smooth and solid...

    Hi Cheryle!

    Often female and males are different color and/or have different patterns. Sometimes they are very close and then you´ll need to check tips of their tails to tell the difference.

    These two here are ofcourse impossible to say by color because they were still very bland at the time, but there´s obvious differences in their tips of tails. But most significant clue is when you compare pics #3 and 4 you´ll see a green "1/4 ball" and a "barb" underside just after the junction of middle body and the tail on pic #4. That´s his male organ. Or half of it as the organ producting seamen is located in the tip of his tail...
  8. I am also looking at the G2220 but last night read some indifferent reviews about bits falling off of it :frown:. The Markins is a bit out of my reach right now but I have read good things about it.


  9. That must have been an exciting excursion for a northerner to go so far south. Bulgaria is a fascinating country not only for Odonata lovers.

    Great series again.

    So that is where your expertise comes from.

  10. Thank you for this explanation...
    yet pics 11, 12, & 13 have even different tail shapes...
    and tail pics 1 & 2 of the female seem to be like pics 4 & 5 of the male.
    I suspect I need to become more familiar with these critters...
    which I firmly expect to do, as I earnestly await my new macro lens.
    I think I will do better with this sigma 150 (hope so) than my current
    5t and 6t closeup lenses on my 70-300 nikon lens.

    Really enjoying these pictures.

    May I also ask, what environment were these taken?
    This looks to be a stream? Edge of a lake? Early spring or when is this cycle taking place? These discarded bodies (the exuvia), what type of living animal (do you have pics) was this before the death (?) and subsequent shell was observed with the new emerging?
  11. Great series. You have inspired me to turn off the computer and get out with my camera. Thanks for sharing.
  12. Bob Coutant

    Bob Coutant Moderator Moderator

    May 17, 2005
    Pleasantville Ohio
    Sounds like you had a great trip Jukka. With the dry weather we've had lately, the only dragons I've seen have been here at the Cafe. I've enjoyed seeing both your dragons and your damsels from Bulgaria.
  13. Yes those "hooks" on the tip of the tail is typical for male O. forcipatus. Female O. forcipatus doesn´t have those "hooks"

    They look pretty much the same but there´s still differences to see. Here´s a demo how similar thay can be but still you can see the difference:

    Male L. quadrimaculata
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/11.0    1/160s    ISO 250

    Female L. quadrimaculata
    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/11.0    1/80s    ISO 100

    Males have a bit longer and a bit curvy appendages while female a shorter almost straight appendages (those two things on their tips of tails). These differences ofcourse varies on different species so a good book is good to have. Here´s some drawings I found from the net:

    Sigma 150 is very nice lens. I have been using Nikkor 300mm AF-S f4 mostly for my Odonata shooting.

    Thanks! I´m glad you liked them!

    #1-6 were taken on bank of Danube. I think it´s one of the biggest rivers in Europe. #7-13 were taken on bank of little stream. Both of these species are "streaming water" species, so rivers and streams are the places to find these kind of species. These were taken last week, so they´re a bit earlier in Bulgaria as O. forcipatus haven´t emerged yet here in Finland and G. flavipes we don´t have here at all. The time of emergence varies a lot between different species. So that early species emergence early and later species later. As emergence is when they start they adult (in-flight) life you can see these through the flying period, from early summer to late summer.

    Exuvia is Dragon´s (and damsel´s) empty larva skin. That´s were they emerge out and leave it behind. I have one pic of Dragon larva:
    NIKON D200    ---    210mm    f/10.0    1/160s    ISO 400

    I posted a series of emerging L. quadrimaculata where you can see the whole process: climbing out of water to resting after a maiden flight:
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  14. SSchex


    May 18, 2005
    Louisiana, USA
    Wow Jukka! Excellent shots of the emergence. Really all are great shots. I have not seen the actual emergence, only after they are out and pretty much ready to fly. I am also out very early in the morning and suspect that they start well before daybreak. The nights around here stay in the eighties this time of year. Does temperature affect their emerging?

  15. Thanks, Scott!

    I just checked some writings about emergence, and what I found was that Aeshnidae species often start they emergence already in the night time and damsels early in the morning. Those shot in Bulgaria were emerging about 9-10 am, but there were already quite a few to be found near bushes after their maiden flights. The O. forcipatus in the series was emerging afternoon.

    I also shot L. quadrimaculata emerging here in Finland and it happened afternoon: https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=117843

    Temperature and sunshine is important ofcourse as it´s through their entire life. One of my Odonata buddies here told awhile back that he saw a larva climbing out of water, sitting couple of minutes and then went back to water, it wasn´t a warm nor sunny day...

    By the way today the sun rised at 3.59 AM and will set at 10.48 PM... long days :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  16. Amazing images, love them all.

  17. Thanks Pam! :smile:
  18. Great shots!

    I've been to Bulgaria a few times and I enjoyed the beautiful landscape. Yes, the roads are funky but still fun to ride!

  19. Thanks!

    Yes, it´s a beautiful country... I guess it would´ve been fun if we drove ourself but we had a local driver with a local attidute. Our guide said: "it´s not driving, it´s war" ...:smile:
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.