Blue Dasher dragonflies (immature males)

Blue Dasher dragonflies (Pachydiplax longipennis) display sexual dimorphism; terminal appendages may be used to differentiate immature males from females.

A Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

14 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Blue Dasher (immature male)

This individual is an immature male, as indicated by its red eye color, blue partial pruinescence, and terminal appendages. When male Blue Dashers mature, their eyes are blue-green and their abdomen is completely blue except for the black tip.

A Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

14 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Blue Dasher (immature male)

Some dragonflies, such as Blue Dasher, regulate their body temperature by perching in the “obelisk position”: the tip of the dragonfly’s abdomen is pointed toward the Sun, minimizing the surface area of the body exposed to direct heating by the Sun’s rays, thereby avoiding overheating.

A Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

14 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Blue Dasher (immature male)

Another immature male was spotted at the same location about a week later.

A Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male with a malformed wing.

22 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Blue Dasher (immature male)

Did you notice this individual has a malformed wing? A lot can go wrong when a dragonfly metamorphoses from a larva to an adult!

A Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male with a malformed wing.

22 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Blue Dasher (immature male)

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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