The first time I saw this species, I was dumbfounded, to say the least. We live in a 10th floor apartment in urban Cochin, which admittedly is on the banks of the backwaters. Nonetheless, I was quite surprised to see a dull-colored damselfly float through a window and over our dining room table, and out the door onto the balcony on the opposite side of the room. Fortunately, I gathered my wits quickly enough to rush back with my camera, and corralled the enigma into a corner in the balcony (non-violently, of course), and was able to get a few shots before it breezed off in the lethargic float I’ve come to associate with damselflies. The only time I’ve seen any damselfly zooming the way most dragonflies do is when they’re swooping in on their prey, at which point even the laziest, slowest, and smallest of them can put on quite a turn of speed.
The second time I saw this species was also a shock, but less so. It was, strangely enough, on the same balcony as the first one, but this time a striking combination of blue and black. I didn’t realize it was a male of this same species until much later, and actually identified the male before the female (which is apparently unusual to see compared to the male, hence the name).
And finally, for the best of them all… a few days ago at Pampa Villa (on the Pamba River!), one of Raxa Collective’s properties on the backwaters of Kerala. I’ve spotted dragonflies here before, like the “Common” Picturewing of the overwhelming summer, but always from land – this time was different. We took a paddleboat out on the water, and with many distractions, made our way slowly up the river. Possibly two hours yielded one great photograph, which I am happy I got. The river’s current was constantly moving both the boat (and therefore my camera) and the subject, so I was lucky to even get as close as I did. I present to you one of nature’s beautiful spectacles – a mated pair of Blue Grass Dartlets on Kerala’s backwaters, laying their eggs in the waterweeds drifting on the rippling river.
Click the image above for a full-size version.