Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


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Springwater Dancer Damselfly 3092

Click for greater size and detail.

On August 1st at the Doeskin Ranch I photographed this springwater dancer, Argia plana. I pluralized the post’s title because I’ve learned that the damselfly with parasitic mites on it that I showed you last month is a dusky dancer, Argia transplana.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 27, 2016 at 4:41 AM

29 Responses

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  1. What would you approximate to have been the working distance to this one?

    Pairodox Farm

    September 27, 2016 at 5:00 AM

  2. Right name “Dancers” in my native Germany we call them Libellen, at least that’s what we as children called them. They are so beautiful and we tried to catch them in a little pretty box, which was their very own theatre and they were our Ballerinas. I of course named my one always “Margot Fonteyn”. 😉😉😉


    September 27, 2016 at 5:14 AM

    • What a fond memory from childhood that must be for you. Did you ever write to Margot Fonteyn and tell her about it?

      I recognize your German word from French libellule. Both trace back to the Latin lībella that meant ‘level’, and that in fact is the source of English level. Latin lībella was the diminutive of lībra, which meant ‘balance.’

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 27, 2016 at 7:07 AM

  3. And in your sidebar, there’s yet a third: the blue-ringed dancer. The variety among them is remarkable. I brought back a photo of a blue damselfly from my last trip to Medina. When I looked at it just now, I realized it’s yet another species.

    The detail you capture with these tiny things amazes me, although I always see those two little antennae as eyelashes at first.


    September 27, 2016 at 5:23 AM

    • You have a better memory about that than I do; I’d forgotten about that picture in “Top Posts & Pages.”

      Yeah, there’s a zillion kinds of damselflies just in Texas, and I’m often stymied trying to match up the ones I’ve photographed with the photos in John Abbott’s book:


      In this case someone who happened to be wandering around the Doeskin Ranch at the same time I was told me what species the damselfy was.

      Now that you have a good macro lens, it’s only a matter of time before you get similar pictures. With damselflies, you want your lens barrel to be perpendicular to the damselfly’s body to maximize the parts of it that are in focus. Using flash can allow for smaller apertures (larger f/numbers) and therefore greater depth of field.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 27, 2016 at 7:20 AM

    • Eyelashes–but of course! Love your imagination, Linda!


      September 27, 2016 at 12:12 PM

  4. Up at our cabin we have a book devoted entirely to damselflies of the north woods, and it really is amazing how many different species there are, and how difficult it can be to tell them apart. It’s great fun trying to put a name to a new one, though, as you well know!


    September 27, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    • Curmudgeonly me enjoys taking the pictures but doesn’t find much fun in trying to identify everything in those pictures, especially when it comes to similar-looking species.

      While I have a pretty thorough book about dragonflies and damselflies of Texas, I still have a hard time identifying many of the ones in my photographs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 27, 2016 at 12:18 PM

  5. I love both these and dragonflies. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m nuts when I chase them all over my yard to photograph


    September 27, 2016 at 7:46 PM

  6. […] that picture of the springwater damselfly yesterday reminded me that I’d forgotten to show you something else I photographed on August […]

  7. Stunning Steve .. That blue is superb!


    September 29, 2016 at 3:00 AM

  8. Nice capture. Sunny days are great for shooting these as they do seem to like basking .

    Steve Gingold

    September 29, 2016 at 3:22 AM

  9. This is my absolute favorite of your damselfly pictures. I like the line of the twig echoing the line of the insect.

    Judy Baumann

    September 29, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    • Thanks for letting me know it’s your favorite, Judy. I, too, like the way the plant continues the line of the insect.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 29, 2016 at 7:25 PM

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