The Backstory: I added the following post to the Northeast Odonata Facebook group on Saturday, 27 September 2014.
There are two species of spreadwing damselflies on the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park Dragonflies and Damselflies species list: Slender Spreadwing; and Swamp Spreadwing. I have seen and/or photographed lots of Slender Spreadwing damselflies at the park; oddly, EVERY ONE was female! Really, what are the odds I would NEVER see a Slender Spreadwing male? Should I look for males in a particular place? And I have NEVER seen a Swamp Spreadwing, neither male nor female! Again, what are the odds? HMP features a HUGE wetland area including a long boardwalk that makes much of the marshland easy to access. Same question regarding Swamp Spreadwings — is there a particular place where I should look for them?
My post received one reply. One reply provided all the information I needed.
In my experience, Swamp Spreadwings are easier to find early in the day, like around two- or three hours after sunrise. Slender Spreadwing males should be around, but skulking kind of low, maybe away from the water like in brush. Source Credit: SueandJohnKestrelHaven.
Many odonates are habitat-specific; they are easier to find when you know where to look. Turns out I’ve been looking in the wrong place for male Slender Spreadwing damselflies. On the strength of good advice from Sue, I found one more quickly than expected. Thanks, Sue!
Now, if I can just get up and out the door early enough to test Sue’s advice regarding where and when to find Swamp Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes vigilax), then I might get lucky again!
Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.