I-SWAMP: observing emergence and flight of dragonflies in the Dolomites!

Aug 7, 2023

TESAF department, I-SWAMP partner for Italy, keeps carrying out biodiversity surveys at all the study sites in Cadore (Venetian Dolomites): we are in the most suitable season to study high-altitude sites and in fact, during the transects and the surveys we observed several species of dragonflies and butterflies. In particular, we encountered two dragonfly species in Costa della Spina ponds (Comelico Superiore) and one damselfly species in Pian dei Buoi, that were never observed in these areas before. We also witnessed a spectacular moment, which was the emergence and flickering of numerous Aeshna juncea dragonflies.

The larvae are about one year old at this stage, and they have spent last summer preying on small aquatic animals, and last winter waiting for the good season. At the time of molting, between the larval and adult stages, the larvae emerge from the water and attach themselves to the vegetation. The adults come out leaving the molt outside, and have to wait for their wings to spread before being able to fly. They are very fragile at this time and must not be disturbed nor touched.