Posts Tagged 'damselflies'

One Giant Spreadwing

The largest damselfly in the Northeast is a Southwestern species that has been expanding its range our way for the last century. The Giant Spreadwing Archilestes grandis can be up to 2.4″ long, as big as a medium-sized dragonfly. I spotted two males in the Bronx and had a very hard time getting a usable image. (Previous to getting my new camera: there’s always next year… one hopes.) Studied them intently through the binoculars, however: highlights include the bright blue eyes and wide yellow stripe on the thorax.

Someone posted a picture of a pair mating at this location on iNaturalist two days previous to my sighting. Let’s hope the pesticides spread in this wetlands and pond complex at the NY Botanical Garden don’t preclude a return of this impressive species next season.

For those keeping count, I’ve now seen 12 species of damselflies in NYC and all have lived to tell the tale! That includes two spreadwing species in the Bronx; I’ve yet to see any spreadwings in Brooklyn. Amongst the non-spreadwings, the Familiar Bluet and the Fragile Forktail are the most frequently spotted.

Wetlands

An early morning in September, still warm and humid but not oppressively so. The wetland is rather quiet, though above me a couple squirrels gnaw away at hickories.I am delighted to see a spreadwing, the first I’ve seen in the Bronx. Slender Spreadwing, Lestes rectangularis, I think. He has caught a fly and is eating the still living creature.No doubt another creature who would like to catch a fly. Right below me as I watch the damselfly. Green Frog: Lithobates clamitans or Rana clamitans; there seems to be some binomial fisticuffs on the name of the genus. Rana is old school, and clearly still has its partisans.Close by, the devil in the garden. Must it always be so? An assault on the basis of the food chain for other insects and amphibians and reptiles and birds and mammals… which reminds me, I’m one of those, too.
***

Necessary reading, as she always is: Rebecca Solnit on the situation. By the way, six days ago I noted that it was unlikely that Kavanaugh was a one-time offender. His boss Kosinski was a serial predator; his would-be boss Trump is the same. No reason this kind of man stops.

***
Our GoFundMe campaign is nearly half way to the goal. Thank you so much!

Ischnura ramburii

Wednesday is traditionally Raptor Day here at B&B. Damselflies are quite the airborne predators, so….

This one is an immature female Rambur’s Forktail (Ischnura ramburii), spotted at Jamaica Bay with numerous others of her species. I’ve seen a male away from the Bay, in Green-Wood once. Several of the Ischnura genus have orange colored immature females.

Michel Edmond de Sélys Longchamps (1813-1900), a Belgian considered the founder of odontology, named this species after Jules Pierre Rambur (1801-1870), a French entomologist.
***

I wonder how many times Kavanaugh has committed perjury so far? His opening statement yesterday was full of them. While judges can be impeached for lying, this seems unlikely as long as we put all our hopes in corporate Democrats. The long march of the right to capturing the judiciary is almost complete. For generations, these corporate, fundamentalist fascists will try to stifle the will of the majority of us. It’s going to be a hell of a fight.

Damselflies

One of the Lestes genus spreadwing damselflies.Spotted in Sapsucker Woods. One of the differences between dragon and damselflies is that damselflies rest with their wings closed. Except of course for the spreadwings… I think it’s the Spotted (L. congener), but I’m not a 100% sure on that. I’d never seen it before. Spotted on the same trail, an immature female Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis). There are three color forms for the mature females in this species. Hadn’t thought I’d seen this version, but checking my records, I saw that I had.

***

There are a bevy of actions against the poisoning of the Supreme Court by Kavanaugh this Sunday. #StopKavanaugh nation-wide.

Bluets & Forktails

Azure Bluet (Enallagma aspersum) male.Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile) male.
Familiar Bluet female, one of three color forms for this species. When odonating, you will quickly see that it’s males who patrol the water. Females are often munching away elsewhere, and come down to the water to pair up and lay their eggs in the wet stuff.Orange Bluet (Enallagma signatum) male and female.Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) male.Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis) male.And another: some definite photographic challenges with these living inch to inch-and-a-half long critters.

Odonata Season

I saw my first living dragonfly outside my windows on Saturday. I’d seen a couple of Common Green Darners here and there during the last few weeks, but spotting an unidentified dragon over 6th Avenue was the real start of the summer flying season for me. On the same day around Green-Wood’s Sylvan Water, I saw just a handful of dragons, but there were at least three species: Common Green Darner, Black Saddlebags, and one of the gliders. I also saw this Familiar Bluet damselfly, also one of just a handful. These were the first damsels I’ve seen this year. Also spotted this exuvia, or shed husk, of the aquatic nymph stage of a dragonfly. Several of the dragonfly species seen at the moment are migratory, but some are local breeders.

Weekend Update

It’s been absurdly warm. Lots of trees are nowhere ready to shake off their leaves. Bumblebees, which can take 60 degree temperatures, you might expect to still be around, but some of the smaller bees were out and about, too. This metallic green bee of the Agapostemon genus, for instance. But it’s late October: there isn’t much still blooming, still providing nectar and pollen.There were still Monarch’s moving this weekend. We noticed 15 in a small transverse of Brooklyn on Saturday, 35 on Sunday. More than a dozen each day were feeding at the inexhaustible Buddleja by Green-Wood’s Valley Water. Watching two Cooper’s Hawks soaring around each other, two more Monarchs kited into the binocular view. Monarchs float or sail quite a bit, coasting with the wind or tacking against it. They have been reported flying at 11,000 feet.

In addition to the Monarchs, this patch had some Painted Beauties, a high count of five Common Buckeyes (a record!), some Sulphur, Cabbage Whites, and several skippers, along with European Hornets on the hunt.A few Autumn Meadowhawks, including in tandem mating flight, Common Green Darners, and Familiar Bluets were also spotted.And a moth in the grass.


Share

Bookmark and Share

Join 557 other followers

Nature Blog Network

Archives