Posts Tagged 'damselflies'

And the Damsels

Still in Virginia: Female Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) depositing eggs.Furtive Forktail (Ischnura prognata) male, a first for me. Such a challenge to photograph these wee critters!And then to ID them! Immediately above and below, a female Familiar Bluet ((Enallagama civile)). (My best guess: iNaturalist and bug guide.net haven’t come through.) The females of this species come in three color forms!Here’s a Familiar Bluet male (above & below).

Enter The Dragons

A trip a few states south results in a preview of the shape of Odonata to come. Emerging adult dragonflies in a small pond. There were about a dozen. Eastern Pondhawks, I think. Once they wiggle out of the husks of their larval forms, they need to harden off, develop their color, stiffen their wings. I’d never seen this in action. It’s slow-going…Meanwhile, in a piney wood a few counties away, a female Blue Corporal (Ladona deplanata) is already up and at ’em. A new species for me. Did not see the male. Often, males dragonflies and damselflies will stake-out and patrol their territories, usually water bodies, while the females are in the distance, only approaching when they’re ready to mate.Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata) glorious in the sun.Immature Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia) male above and mature male below.

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.
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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.


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