Common Whitetail metamorphosis, 4 mins later

Here’s what that Common Whitetail looked like 4 minutes after my previous post. In this view, the front half of the wings are nicely expanded. The sun also came out, so the colors are different and there’s more contrast. A 7 shot stack, 1/400 s, f/8, iso 400. For the sake of completeness, I’m also posting the two earlier stacks that are lacking in sharpness due to 1/40 s shutter speed, but show the DF exiting the exoskeleton.

Plus 4 minutes:

Initial breakout (11 shot stack, 1/40 s): The shell splits and the thorax “pops” out. It was hanging nearly motionless until I started shooting…

Ready to pull the abdomen out (7 shot stack, 1/40 s): a big motion prevented getting the tip of the exoskeleton sharp.

Oh wow, these are great, motion or no motion. I’ve never caught one quite so early in the process - the initial splitting. Maybe this year, but it won’t be for a month yet. Super!!

Mark: Great series of images on the emergence of this guy. I did the same kind of thing with a monarch butterfly several years ago and you’ve stimulated me to be on the lookout this spring. We have close to 20 chrysalises ripening and should be ready to hatch in the next 5-10 days. Exceptional work on a terrific find. >=))>

Amazing and fascinating, Mark. I’ve not ever witness this process so thanks for sharing these images with us.

Mark, thank you for sharing this. I have never seen this take place, so I’m really amazed seeing the process. I will appreciate dragonflies a lot more. You sure did a wonderful job, the details are really great.