Dragonfly
Tracks and Sign

(Naiad trails underwater)

 

 

Dragonflies

Dragonfly naiads leave some spectacular trails underwater in rivers and streams. If the water is slow-moving, the trails can last for a while.
dragonfly naiad
This is a dragonfly naiad. It is not ready to come out of the water and shed its skin yet though. It has a little bit more growing to do. However, if you look on rocks and vegetation near water, you will find shed skins (exuviae) that look just like this. Damselflies, mayflies, and stoneflies also do the same thing. You can find their sheds (exuviae) near water bodies in summer.

 

 
dragonfly naiad trails
These looking trails underwater were made by dragonfly naiads.
 
dragonfly naiad trails under water
In the Eel River, in summer, you will commonly find these dragonfly naiad trails underwater.
 
dragonfly naiad itself
A side view of the dragonfly naiad.
 
dragonfly naiad the track  maker
Top view of the dragonfly naiad. You can see the tiny bumps that will one day become the wings of the full-grown dragonfly. But first, it must shed this skin, or exoskeleton.
 
dragonfly naiad trails underwater
Nore dragonfly naiad trails. Larval form.
 
dragonfly naiad trails underwater
Photo of a fresh dragonfly naiad trail taken with an underwater camera.
 
dragonfly naiad trails under the water
You can follow these trails until you find an end. Look for the movement of the burrowing critter. Then, dig there and you will come up with the naiad! Be sure to put it back.
 
underwater trail of dragonfly naiad
The dragonfly naiad in the photos above was dug out from this fresh trail. See how it ends on the right? That's where to dig. Put the critter back after you examine it so it has a chance to become a beautiful dragonfly!

 

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Copyright 2016. Text and photos by Kim A. Cabrera

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Copyright   2016. Kim A. Cabrera - Desert Moon Design

Page updated: January 29, 2016

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