Dragonfly Molting

Photograph by Al Denelsbeck.

Photography contest, Runner-Up.

Dragonfly molting
Dragonfly molting. The photographer writes, "Caught a dragonfly immediately after molting into final instar, still perched on its recently-vacated exoskeleton – there's something disconcerting with seeing how much an arthropod enlarges beyond its former body. I'm leaning towards this being a blue dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis, because that's the most common around here, but without coloration I couldn't confirm. The lack of coloration – in fact the near-total lack of pigmentation to the new exoskeleton – was the bit that drew my attention the most, because the wing muscles are plainly visible within."