Monday, September 28, 2009

The Coral-tailed Cloudwing

Regular readers of this blog might remember that the above picture used
to be my header-photo a few months ago. At that time, I hadn't found out
the name of this beautiful dragonfly. That was in May. I saw it in a
shady patch near the mango tree and was bedazzled:)

You can see why. The reddish body and the transparent wings with the
spots of whitish-blue and brown make it a spectacular dragonfly. I got
a few shots but in my excitement, I went too close and it flew away.

I did see the species a few more times but it was flying about and
that's something I haven't quite managed to capture. In flight, the
Coral-tailed Cloudwing/Tholymis tillarga looks striking. That's when
the spots on the hind-wings look more pronounced.

The other day, I was lucky to find it again on a bougainvillea branch.
Although the red looked much paler, the wings were the same. It did not
budge as I took several shots in the hot sun. I've read that it is most
active in the evenings. The Coral-tailed Cloudwing is commonly found in
Asia, Australasia and Africa. Insects living near water is seen in my
yard because of the swampy areas in our locality. It's common to see
clouds of dragonflies in these low-lying boggy plots of land.

This is a male dragonfly. I'm yet to photograph the female of the species.
They have amber bodies and the transparent wings have brown patches on them.

With so many dragonflies in the vicinity, sometimes, I also come across
dead ones. The head was missing so for the photograph I placed it at an
angle where the fact is not obvious. The tattered wings say it, anyway.
The white blooms are of the dwarf Ixora and the ones next to it are the
colours that tell you that (the heat of) Summer still wants to linger on,
at least for some more time.


lotusleaf said...

Beautiful pictures! I saw one red dragonfly at the forest camp, and did take a photograph, but it is quite hazy.Like you mentioned, the dragonfly looks dazzling in flight.

tina said...

I think the only dragonfly I could ever photograph would be one sleeping or dead. They move so fast here. Glad you identified yours.

Anonymous said...

That truly is magnificent. What lovely wings. I hope you will enjoy the week ahead Kanak.

Susie said...

Lovely name for such a beauty. Also, congrats on your nominations. I hope you win!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I've never seen coral red or orange-red dragonfly. Nice!!!

Autumn Belle said...

These dragonflies are a feast for my eyes. You have quite a number of them. These are beautiful pictures. I can't differentiate between a male and female dragonfly.

sweet bay said...

What a beautiful dragonfly! Even his eyes are red. He is beautiful bottled yellow and coral pink too.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Padma, the red ones must be the most spectacular.

Tina, I can't photograph while they move so fast. Thank goodness they stay still for a while too!

Mildred, glad you liked them. You have a great week too!

Susie, thank you so much!

Tatyana, we see quite a few varieties in different shades of red. I never realized there were so many till I started photographing them.

Autumn Belle, it's only now that I'm learning to identify the difference. So far I only know a few but it helps that I see many in my yard.

Thanks Sweet Bay. Glad to read your comment.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

It's interesting how this bright red beauty can turn so pale as the seasons change. Too bad about the headless guy...maybe someone had part of him for lunch? (A bird, maybe?!). I wonder what their (typical) lifespan is?

Radka said...

Hello. You have very nice blog. Your photos are amazing. Also like to take pictures. But I am an amateur photographer. I take pictures like, just for fun and joy. Have a nice day, Radka.

walk2write said...

The last picture is a lovely reminder (yes, it is) that life is fleeting so we'd better enjoy it and make the most of its beauty while we can. Every post you compose, Kanak, adds another thread to the amazing tapestry you're weaving for us. Congrats on the nominations!

joey said...

Congratulations, dear Tatyana! It's been a joy getting to know you and visit your lovely piece of earth. I adore dragonflies .. we have many at our cottage on the lake ... love when they light and linger on ME :)

Susie said...

Kanak, I didn't even know my blog had been nominated. Thanks for letting me know.

Wendy said...

It takes a lot of patience to photograph dragonflies. And you've done a beautiful job. I love the red colour and transparent wings. So far, I have not even tried to take pics of anything that moves (except grandchildren, of course), but birds, butterflies, bees, and dragonflies fly away so quickly! I'll just stick to flowers for now. At least they won't move!

Shailaja said...

Kanak, those gossamer wings are so lovely!

Stephanie said...

The little blue patch on the transparent wings are nice too. Such a dainty little creature. TQ for snapping the pictures. Have a wonderful day Kanak.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Jan...must've been a bird. Or a lizard. I did check out the life span. As an adult it's about 6 months but as a nymph underwater, it's much longer.

Hello Radka, how lovely to have you here! Thank you so much!

W2W, thank you so much! And so true that in the death of these gentle creatures, we're reminded about how ephemeral life can be.

Joey, it happens...I mean you must've been at Tatyana's blog too:) Although there are many dragonflies, they do not alight on me. I've had damselflies do that but not the dragons:(

Susie....I'm thrilled that you got to know about it from me!! All the best!

Wendy....LOL! I agree flying critters are difficult but if they are perched somewhere you could take a chance?! You're right about the patience part. But it's very easy to get hooked to this hobby!!

Shailaja, I'm so glad to read your comment.

Stephanie, that's what makes this one so special! Enjoy your day!

Di said...

Hello Kanak,

Love your dragonfly photos! Our favorites here are orange and blue in color, and yesterday a bright orange one lingered, but most are now gone.

Prospero said...

The spots on the cloudwing (what a glorious name) are fantastic, Kanak.

Urban Green said...

How do you manage to get such beautiful shots?

easygardener said...

Beautiful pictures. I had a green and yellow dragonfly visit my pond today but could not get my camera as I had to chase my cats around the garden while they did their best to catch the poor insect. Luckily it got away but my only chance of the year was lost...aarrgh!

Frances said...

Hi Kanak, oh those beautiful wings! It is what I would imagine fairy wings to look like. You have taken wonderful images to share with us, and we thank you and Mister Dragonfly both for cooperating together. :-)

Kanak Hagjer said...

Di, the combination of orange and blue sounds wonderful!

Prospero, so glad to see your comment!:)

Urban Green, I have to take my chance when they are still...doesn't happen most of the time.

EG, I hope you get a chance again!! I've seen those colours on a damselfly but not on dragons. It's amazing what colours Mother Nature can come up with!

Frances, thanks! Glad you liked the photos. Now I'll have to wait and see how co-operative Mrs. Dragonfly (resplendent in amber) is!

Steve Covey said...

This species is also known as the Old World Twister! Presumably for the way it moves about in the sky...