I've just had the pleasure of watching the beauty of life in nature as a damselfly nymph has just left my tank as a fully fledged adult.
I first saw it in the tank on the 7th April; on a stem of Rotala indica....
Next morning, at lights on, I saw it preying on one of the very numerous, tiny ostracods in my tank...
Every day I would find it in the Rotala, but this afternoon I noticed it had climbed a stem to the surface, and was sitting just at the water line. Knowing that it must be nearly ready to emerge as an adult, I left the light hood open at that end and popped out for a bit to my lfs.
Whilst there, I purchased a Crinum thaianum specimen they had in one of their tanks and proceeded to plant it on the other side of the tank to the nymph.
An hour or so later, I noticed the nymph had disappeared from the Rotala, to find it had gone the whole length of the tank to the new Crinum thaianum, and was half out the water on a leaf that was breaking the surface!
With tweezers, I carefully pulled on the leaf so that the nymph was now completely out of the water.
Still not sure if this was the right thing to do, I left it for a while and got on with other things. When I returned, I got a nice surprise when I saw it had emerged from it's larval exoskeleton.
From that moment on, I sat and watched it develop and grow to quite a bit larger than at it's larval stage.
The last two pictures show the maximum size it developed to. You can clearly see the size difference between the adult and it's larval exoskeleton.
I was reading a book to pass the time, whilst glancing up to check upon it, when all of a sudden, it had gone! I didn't actually see it fly, so I now have a damselfly somewhere in the house!
I thought I'd share this here. I've had nymphs in my tanks before but never witnessed them reaching maturity in all their glory, as fish or frogs usually devour them!