Photo 42365895, (c) Brian Gooding, all rights reserved

Medium
Attribution © Brian Gooding
all rights reserved
Uploaded by briangooding briangooding
Source iNaturalist.org
Original https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/42365895
Associated observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Prince Baskettail Epitheca princeps

Observer

briangooding

Date

June 18, 2019 12:34 PM CDT

Description

Female Epitheca princeps (with part of exuvial labial mask still present)

I took a walk on lunch and saw this baskettail and at the time thought she must've been stunned/killed while ovipositing by a fish or duck. I took a few shots but didn't investigate further as nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Upon closer inspection it seems the dragonfly has retained part of the exuviae on its face (see second photo). I returned in the late afternoon when I got a chance hoping to pick her up out of the water and see if more of the exuviae was present/she didn't totally complete ecdysis. Unfortunately the dragonfly was gone and I as I walked around the entire pond I suspected a duck had plucked her up, forever sealing this as one of the great mysteries of all time. ;)

It would've made more sense if some emerging complication rendered this mostly externally physically sound more likely to expire early. She could've also just gotten trapped in the water and died of exhaustion or overheating.

Sizes