Weekend Dragonflies

Libellula semifasciataGot a grip. The handsome Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata), with his conspicuous orange wing pattern. Note the appendages at the tail-end of the abdomen: this is a male. He uses these to grasp females right behind the eyes (damselflies grasp by the neck). More on the wild kingdom of dragonfly sex can be found here, a link that’s SFW (except in Texas).Pachydiplax longipennisThe familiar Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis), most common of pond dragonflies in Brooklyn Bridge Park. This is a male, with his dusty-blue denim abdomen. Pachydiplax longipennisAnd this is the female, brown with yellow striping. Abundance and the fact that Blue Dashers could just as well be called blue perchers — some species rarely perch during the day — means we can examine them at some leisure.Pachydiplax longipennisFor instance: check out the details of the shoulders, where the strong wing muscles attach to the wings.dragonfly wingSpeaking of wings, they are evidently rather unpalatable. Predators usually bite or otherwise clip them off before getting to the meat of things. Kestrels, for one, are great dragonfly hunters, the hunter becoming hunted by another master flyer. This forewing was in Chris’s garden, right next to the picnic table. Judging by the size, I would say it’s off a Common Green Darner (Anax junius), one our largest species. Note the stigma, the darker “pane” on the lower right.

3 Responses to “Weekend Dragonflies”

  1. 1 Jenny July 15, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Thanks for sharing such gorgeous photos! (And your joke about Texas. Heehee.)

  1. 1 Photo of the Day: Dragonflies Swarm Coney Island | Amusing the Zillion Trackback on July 17, 2013 at 5:34 pm

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