Slender Spreadwing damselflies

The Family Lestidae (Spreadwings) of damselflies is one of three families of Suborder Zygoptera known to occur in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States of America.

These are medium to large damselflies of worldwide distribution that usually hold their wings open, but several genera in the Old World keep them closed. All spreadwings close their wings at night, in bad weather, and when threatened by predators or males harassing females. Those in North America perch with long abdomen inclined downward, even vertically. Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 1325-1327). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

The following retrospective, shown in reverse-chronological order, shows five female Slender Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes rectangularis) spotted photowalking through Huntley Meadows Park during four days in September 2013.

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Gallery 3

Notice the ovipositor located on the underside of the posterior abdomen, clearly shown in the following photo of Female 1.

Gallery 4

Thanks to Mr. Chris Hobson, Natural Areas Zoologist with the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, for verifying my tentative identification of the specimen shown in Gallery 4, observed on 19 September 2013. Also thanks to Ed Lam, author and illustrator of Damselflies of the Northeast, for confirming my tentative identification of both the species and gender of two different females shown in Gallery 3, observed on 24 September 2013.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “Slender Spreadwing damselflies”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    Great shots of these tiny damselflies. They are amazingly beautiful, but tough to spot and really difficult to photograph. I really like the fact that you were able to capture so much detail in your images.

  2. naturesnippets Says:

    Amazing pictures. Enjoyed!

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