Every month we have a photograph on special offer. For May 2013 we've selected the photo below (PhotoID: Dr128). Please click on it to display a larger version (1050 x 700 pixels).
The photograph shows a male Broad-Bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa), a common and widespread species throughout much of Europe (except the very far north), and one of the earliest dragonfly species to make its appearance every year. We made this photograph recently, at the end of April, and there were already three competing males present at one of our favourite sites, a tiny forest pond. Also present at the water - for just a few seconds - was a single female; she was grabbed as soon as she was spotted by the dominant male, the couple mated in mid-air (which takes all of then seconds), and she then proceeded to lay her eggs, which she does by repeatedly dipping her abdomen in the water and releasing a number of eggs at each dip. As soon as she was done, the male (who had stayed in close attendance just to make sure that no other male could mate with her) tried to grab her again, but she managed - with some difficulty - to shake him off and find a bit of peace and quiet in the tree tops.
To see more photographs of the Broad-Bodied Chaser, please click here.
Order the Photo of the Month and get a 20% discount on its usual price. For more details, see prices of soft copies and prices of prints.