Lifescapes Gallery

10 / Feb / 2010
Some Damsels are Gentlemen
Damselfly, Coorg Photograph: Ganesh H. Shankar Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

Some Damsels are Gentlemen

A Damsel is not always a lady. For, even the males of this species are called Damselflies, though they don’t seem to mind too much (proof that metrosexuals have been around much longer than our fashionistas would have us believe). The females too are definitely not products of those Swiss finishing schools that insist on ‘ladylike’ manners. All those who’ve grown up with tales of knights errant rushing to rescue damsels in distress, can banish the notion. This is one damsel who can take care of herself, and is known to cause more distress than she gets. Her tough, carnivorous nature comes to the fore much before she attains adulthood. Even as a water nymph (which is how they begin their lives), her predatory instincts are well developed, and she preys on mosquito larvae and unsuspecting aquatic organisms. When she does emerge from her watery home as an adult damselfly, she gorges uninhibitedly on flies, mosquitoes and any insects within reach. But between the two stages is a phenomenon that’ll put even our celluloid stars to shame. If you thought Bollywood song and dance sequences, with their myriad costume changes, are over the top, consider how the Damselfly’s molting pattern ensures a multiple change of raiment before her ‘coming out’ parade. As she poses daintily on her freshwater perch with her wings folded back, showing off her streamlined body and fine features, please ensure you don’t whistle appreciatively and say, “What a pretty dragonfly!”. You’d have just broken a damsel’s heart. Even if the lady in question was a ‘laddie’!

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 at 10:00 am and is filed under Insects . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. Shizuko Junkin says:

    I genuinely treasure your work , Great post.

  2. Ganesh H. Shankar says:

    Thanks friends for your kind words. I have used some unique lighting technique here which is a combination of natural light and torch light using a micro lens to do justice to this little beauty. If you want to read more about this technique you may read my article here –

    – Regards,
    Ganesh H. Shankar.

  3. Saj says:

    Good write-up Rajesh! Ganesh’s picture is awesome.

    Considering this gorgeous creature rids the world of many of those blood sucking mosquitoes, makes them more attractive … the insect equivalent to Angelina Jolie or Antonio Banderas 😉

    Thanks guys 🙂

  4. Renee Vyas says:

    Excellent picture and hilarious write up, great work.

  5. tejas joseph says:

    some creation,this!
    didn’t know that a dragonfly (pardon damselfly!) was such a beautiful insect to behold. Ganesh has captured the ‘fluorescent soul’ of this creature with some very imaginative lighting. with such conspicuous aerodynamics (and style), i am surprised that no fantasy film makers ( James Cameron and Peter Jackson included) have as yet thought of casting dragon/damselflies as air transport instead of birds and dragonoids that are the staple now. This insect is sheer poetry in motion. hope it fuels the inspiration of some animator/filmmaker in waiting..

  6. Aldrin Henriques says:

    good photography & information….

  7. shivakumar says:

    exxcellent marvellous photography,we never knew the flies are so sweet and colorful,my kids enjoyed very much,i think this should be sent to animal planet so that manyu can enjoy this brilliant photo ,keep sending photos,have a nice day,thanq

  8. Viiveck Shetty says:

    Very beautiful photography. Kudos to the photographer! Thanks for sharing the same with us.

  9. GANESH HR says:

    Very nice picture. Keep going. God bless.

  10. Thresi E. R. says:

    I enjoyed the narrative!

    A damsel that feeds on mosquito larvae, flies and mosquitoes… that’s unlike any we’ve known so far 🙂 But it definitely makes the world a better place to live in – literally!

  11. Devanand says:

    Fantastic! The pic is absolutely brilliant and complements the marvellous copy. Mr. Rajesh, I could’ve been a poster boy for ‘lol inc.’ after reading your hilarious, tongue-in-cheek write-up! Way to go!

  12. Diwakaran Nair says:

    Outstanding Photograph. I must agree that these are Nat Geo quality. And the commentary is as good if not better than the canon ‘wildlife’ series that used to come in those old back pages of Nat Geo. Well done Team Orange County. Can’t wait for the next edition!

  13. christina k. says:

    I was awestruck by the picture. The writing is just right. Thanks for sharing. all the best.

  14. Vicky Robinson says:

    Another brilliant photo and ‘story’. Keep them coming…

  15. B.J. Mehta says:

    Breathtaking picture. How many pictures were taken to get this one?

  16. brajeshbantia says:

    The picture clarity is amazing, it has captured the fly in all its beauty, i have myself spotted many beautiful birds at the resort; your effort of keeping nature in all its might is indeed commendable- cheers keep it up!

  17. Dieter Cueppers says:

    A friend of mine regularly sends me beautiful photographs from National Geographic. The pictures I get from you are just of the same outstanding quality. I can’t wait till I’ll be at one of your fabulous hotels again to experience nature at its best again. Thank you very much.
    Kind Regards,
    Dieter Cueppers

  18. Prashant Sanil says:

    Nice Pic and a very informative peice.. Nice workk… keep going…

  19. Shoba Narayan says:


  20. Aishwarya Mohan says:

    Wow… what a photograph…

    “Some Damsels are Gentlemen”…. who else but Rajesh can think of something like this….. :))

    Just amazing– both the photo and the writeup

    wish u all the best guys

  21. Sekar says:


    Brilliant photo. This is sure to make people take note of damsel (and dragon:-)) flies when they see them in gardens and in forests. What display of colors, and what an eye of the photographer to color match the stem and the fly. Great writeup by Rajesh to accompany this wonderful picture. I second that this should adorn the cover of NG.

  22. Jose Ramapuram, Director - Marketing, Orange County Resorts says:

    Dear Muthanna,
    Your comment will be a great motivator for Ganesh 🙂

  23. Shylaja says:

    Awesome picture. Never knew that flies could be so beautiful 🙂

  24. Muthanna says:

    Ganesh Shankar – This is simply Brilliant! Should adorn the cover of National Geographic. Loved the damsels part……

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