So an eye to eye encounter with a Dragonhunter is a rare opportunity. This one was found freshly liberated from its aquatic form in the nearby Grand River.
A few feet from the river's edge we found this silver-dollar sized exuvia, the shed exoskeleton of a Dragonhunter nymph. Dragonflies spend the beginning of this life cycle as an egg, once hatched- they remain a water-born nymph until they climb of the water and shed their exoskeleton and begin life as a winged adult.
These exuvia are fascinating molds of their previous life form. Each species of dragonfly have their own distinct larva, exuvia and adult form. It is not unlike their insect cousins the butterflies. Butterflies too can be identified by their caterpillar, chrysalis and winged adult form.
Special thanks to John Pogcnik, Guy Denny, Jim Davidson, and Ian Adams for teaching me more about dragonflies on a recent tour of the Grand River. If you would like to learn more about dragons, mark your calendar for June 25th, when Guy Denny will be leading a dragonfly/ butterfly walk at the Bobolinks at Byers woods Festival in Ashland County. More details to come.