Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Obelisk

The end of 2015 is almost here, so I’ve looked back over the year a lot recently.  I’m going to share my “Best of 2015” photos with you all on Friday, but this is one of my favorites for this year:

blue dasher obelisking

Blue dasher obelisking

That’s a blue dasher dragonfly doing a behavior called obelisking, a behavior that helps dragonflies control their temperature.  Because they are exothermic (= their body temps are more or less the same temp as their surroundings, aka they’re “cold-blooded”), insects often have to resort to behaviors to help them regulate their internal body temperatures.  You’ll see many dragonflies in the obelisk position on hot days, pointing the tips of their abdomens directly at the sun.  In this position, a dragonfly can minimize the amount of sun hitting its body and help keep itself a little cooler.  If even that doesn’t work, they’ll start to look for shade and get out of the sun completely.

Just a few more days until the start of 2016!  For those of you in the midwestern US, I hope you stay safe into the new year.  The flooding in your area looks really terrible from afar, so I can only imagine what it’s like firsthand.

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

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