Dragon waterfalls


Four-spotted chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata), which got its name from four distinct spots on its wings, is probably the most common and the most numerous dragonfly of the Kazakh steppe.


This species is widely distributed across northern Eurasia and North America but almost completely disappeared from Europe, although there are reports of impressive migrations from a number of European countries from 100-150 years ago. Four-spotted chaser is officially the state insect of Alaska, suggesting it has some cultural importance there.


Females lay eggs onto vegetation in freshwater lakes and rivers and their larvae live under water for up to two years, hunting other water creatures, including tiny fish. When they are large enough they climb up the vegetation to complete their transformation into adults. When this happens, millions may be seen hunting sand flies, mosquitoes and horse flies over steppe and reed beds.


  Maybe not the most striking of all the dragonflies, but beautiful nevertheless.


But when at sunset thousands of them gather in swarms, getting ready for the night roost on shrubs and reeds, the sight is truly spectacular!


Although there is some information online about large swarms of these dragonflies, I could not find anywhere any photos or explanations of the unusual behaviour: normally peacefully flying dragonflies were forming 3-5 meter columns in the air and then were falling down like waterfalls, only to start it all over again.


I hope this video will illustrate what I meant by «waterfalls».