State College DamselfliesAugust 8, 2010

It has been seven years since I've last photographed damselflies, which are, in effect, smaller cousins of dragonflies.

A damselfly is tiny. Comparing a dragonfly, the damsels photographed vary from a half an inch to nearly a full inch long (or about 1 to 2.5 cm) but having the width of a fine needle.

The most striking aspect of damselflies is their rainbow of colors, although in today's selection bluish purple and brown are the main colors. Give me time, and damselfly colors will expand.

Purple damselfly with stripes
The purple-blue damselfly above has stripes along its thorax; the one below doesn't have any stripes; but doesn't it cast a delicate shadow?
Purple damselfly with shadow
I know nothing about damselfly classification, but I call the one below a "brown."
Brownish damselfly
The blue tail tip of the next damselfly is a little washed out from the light; but it is highly distinctive.
Purple damselfly with stripes

Apart from size, the difference between damselflies and dragonflies is that the former fold their wings over their body and the latter leave their wings perpendicular away from their body. Usually.

Photo note: All four photos were taken with a Pentax K20D, with the Voigtlander 125mm macro lens, on August 7 and 8, 2010.

Damselflies from 2003 and from 2011   |   Pennsylvania butterflies

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