Another discovery!

On 09 October 2014, I discovered another new species of odonate for Huntley Meadows Park: Great Spreadwing damselfly (Archilestes grandis). The individual shown in the following photo is a male, as indicated by its coloration and and terminal appendages.

Great Spreadwing damselfly (male)

The Backstory: This damselfly “found me” while I was sitting in a drainage ditch near a vernal pool in the forest at Huntley Meadows Park, photographing Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonflies. I took two shots of the same pose, one of which is shown above, before the damselfly simply vanished. Poof, gone!

I thought it was a Swamp Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes vigilax), one of two spreadwing damselflies on the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park Species List for Dragonflies and Damselflies. I have never seen a Swamp Spreadwing, so this sighting would have been an exciting first for me.

When I shared my spotting with the Northeast Odonata Facebook group, Ed Lam, author and illustrator of Damselflies of the Northeast, kindly corrected my misidentification.

Sorry, Walter, that’s not a Swamp Spreadwing. It’s a male Great Spreadwing (Archilestes grandis). Note the yellow stripe on the side of the thorax where it would be pruinose white on a Swamp. The paraprocts are very short on Great; longer but very thin on Swamp.

I replied to Ed, “In this case I’m happy to be wrong, Ed — Great Spreadwing is a NEW SPECIES of damselfly for HMP! Woo-hoo!!!”

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “Another discovery!”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    Congratulations again, Walter. This continues to be an amazing season for you and for Huntley Meadows Park. Beautiful shot of the damselfly too–without so much detail in your image, it might have been impossible to identify it.

  2. Male gymnast | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] discovered my first Great Spreadwing damselfly on 09 October 2014, an aggressive individual that came to be known as “Crinkle-cut.” This guy was the next […]

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