An eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) basks on a lillypad eye-to-eye with an approaching emerald damselfly (Lestes sponsa) and it shadow in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The eastern painted turtle is the most widespread native turtle of North America. Fossils show that the painted turtle existed 15 million years ago. The adult painted turtle female is 10–25 cm (4–10 in) long while the male is smaller. Reliant on warmth from its surroundings, the painted turtle is active only during the day when it basks for hours on logs or rocks, or in this unusual case on a lillypad. During winter, these turtles hibernate, usually in the mud at the bottom of the pond. Adults in the wild can live for more than 55 years.
Damselflies (suborder Zygoptera) are similar to dragonflies but have slender bodies and are weaker fliers. Most damselfly species fold their wings over the abdomen when stationary, and the eyes are well separated on the sides of the head. In contrast, dragonflies (suborder Anisoptera) are heavy-bodied, strong-flying insects that hold their wings horizontally both in flight and at rest.