It may look like a scene from Alien – but this could be nature at its most intimate.
These amazing photos, taken by wildlife photographer Marc Heath, appear to show a dragonfly just resting on a piece of reed, but the show continues to reveal something rarely seen up close.
Slowly, the figure is revealed to be but a nymph and an Emperor dragonfly, the biggest breed in Britain, begins to reveal itself from inside, before fully climbing out and flying away.
Luckily, keen snapper Marc, from Kent, was on hand to capture the moment in all its glory and says he may not take a better sequence of pictures.
He said: "I might as well sell the camera now; I am so very pleased with them.
"I might not take any better photos in my life but I have achieved one of the ultimate captures in nature."
Marc said he had been monitoring the activity of the dragonflies around the pond at his home in the hope of capturing the perfect shot when it finally came around on 24th May.
He said: "When I checked the pond on the Sunday night, I could see an Emperor nymph on my chosen stick in the shallows and I was just excited about the prospect of what might happen that night.
"For the next hour or so, I was treated to one of the best dragonfly spectacles I have ever witnessed as the Emperor slowly emerged.
"By about 8.30pm in drizzly rain and me trying to hold an umbrella over my head whilst taking photos, the Emperor was fully emerged with wings fully formed but closed."