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The other day I told a friend that I had just got back from clicking a dragonfly and he replied that he had one visit him too, at his home, but he had thrown it out without clicking. Yeah, he is funny that way. Anyway, I concluded dragonflies were not his thing. Not that they are mine. In fact, I know next to nothing about dragonflies, but that doesn’t stop me from photographing them at every opportunity I get, finding out their ID from the experts in a group I belong to, and then reading up on them.

The one in the picture above is a Urothemis signata or Great Crimson Glider. Where’s the crimson at all, you might ask at this point. It is the male of the species which has the crimson color. The one above happens to be a female and so… no crimson. Bad luck. But if you ask me, she looks pretty enough in yellow, whatever her name is.

Did you know the Urothemis signata is a species of dragonfly in the family Libellulidae? Yup, it was news to me too. As libelous as the family name sounds (just kidding!), the dragonflies are apparently quite okay with it. And their satisfaction is all that matters in these things.

Urothemis signata is quite widespread in many Asian countries, they tell me. Ponds and slow flowing rivers are their breeding ground, but moving with the times, they have managed to colonize urban water bodies and park ponds too. No wonder, I keep seeing them here, there and everywhere. But on the mango tree next-door? That was definitely a first. Or may be I haven’t been looking too hard. Henceforth the mango tree shall come under the severest of scrutiny for dragonflies, butterflies and other life forms.

©Shail Mohan 2018

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