centuryplant: A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Default)

I saw my first non-migrant dragonflies of the year on May 10th at Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve. This is early, though not quite as early as the warm spring had led me to hope. Emergence may only be a week or so ahead of schedule.

A male Spiny Baskettail.

I only saw one of these Spiny Baskettails, but luckily he perched long enough for me to get this photo.

Three more photos )


Jun. 7th, 2010 03:47 pm
centuryplant: Close-up of the head and thorax of a Dragonhunter dragonfly (Dragonhunter dragonfly)

Dusky Clubtails are brown-and-yellow dragonflies about two inches long. They look virtually identical to Ashy Clubtails, so for a positive identification, you need close-up photos showing the shape of small details, like a downward-pointing spike on the claspers at the end of the male's abdomen:


I was using the camera's LCD to zoom in on the claspers, so I never even saw this tiny white insect. It must have landed there for a moment and then flown away again.

Here's what the whole dragonfly looks like:

Read more... )

centuryplant: Close-up of the head and thorax of a Dragonhunter dragonfly (Dragonhunter dragonfly)
Last week [personal profile] pameladean and I went to the Sunrise Landing on the St. Croix River to look for clubtail dragonflies. Many clubtail species are hard to find, in part because they're vulnerable to pollution, but all the public water accesses along the St. Croix have a good variety of species. We timed our visit to catch the emergence of two particularly elusive species, the Pygmy and St. Croix Snaketails, which we thought would be easier to find if we could find them before their wings dried. This was the second time we tried that, and the second time we failed; last year I think we went a little too late, and this year the river was too high to walk along the bank and look for them. I only saw one Snaketail the whole day -- a Rusty Snaketail, the most common kind, though not quite common enough to take for granted. I like their russet-and-pea-green color scheme and their wonderfully incatatory scientific name, Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis.

We did see a lot of clubtails in the genus Gomphus, which had probably emerged that day and were making their first flights into the woods. I've never seen so many at one time before -- everywhere you looked there was one. Most Gomphus clubtails are bright yellow and black when they're new, like this Midland Clubtail:


As they get older the yellow fades to silver in front, leaving yellow only on the swollen "club" at the end of the abdomen.

two more photos )


centuryplant: A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Default)

August 2013

456 7 8910
1112 1314151617


RSS Atom

Layout Credit

Based on "Crossroads" by
[personal profile] branchandroot

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags