This male Brown-backed Red Marsh Hawk (Orthetrum chrysis) dragonfly was sitting in the garden basking the afternoon sun. Light was quite harsh on the dragonfly. The position it was sitting was also awkward so I had not much of chance of getting a good frontal pose. What I decided is to get a nice wing vein details from where I could take picture. I used my Canon EOS 5D mark II with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens and used existing sunlight to take this photograph. As the Sun was harsh you could notice the dark contrasty shot in the side photo. For the other two shots I used a semi transparent umbrella (shoot through umbrella) to cast shade on the dragonfly. This method was short lived as it startled the dragonfly and it flew off after few shots.
In Males eyes are dark reddish brown paler towards lateral and undersides. Thorax is dark chocolate brown above, which pales to golden olivaceous-brown on sides. Legs are black. Wings are transparent and tinted with deep golden amber at base. In the hind wings the amber tint encircles a black opaque area. Wing spot is blackish brown. Abdomen is bright red contrasting with blackish brown thorax.
Early morning and late evening sun are the best to take photos as the light is softer and directional. Mid noon sun gives strong light and dark shadows which look horrible on photos. Either choose a cloudy or overcast day or shoot photos under shade.
Brown-backed Red Marsh Hawk (Orthetrum chrysis) is a medium sized dragonfly with brown black thorax and bright red abdomen. The face is covered with short and stiff black hairs. This is a common and relatively unattractive dragonfly species. It is not easy to get a nice shot as they are usually quite sensitive to human.
Male abdomen is bright blood-red; frons bright scaret-red, clypeus reddish brown; wings hyaline, with a pale uniform brown and a dark golden-amber spot at base of hind wing.
Female thorax is pale brown, creamy yellow on dorsum; abdomen brownish yellow marked with a mid-dorsal brown stripe and an obscure stripe at both sides.
Female generally comes to water just for laying eggs, but male usually take the chance to mate. They are very wary insects and hardly to get closer except when they are in copulation.
2 thoughts on “Brown-backed Red Marsh Hawk”
Mid-day light is surely affecting the shot.
The pictures look fine to me, and helped me identify the same species recently seen in Hong Kong.