The Backstory: A Southern Fortnight
For the first two weeks during May 2015, Southern Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes australis) were observed at a vernal pool and nearby drainage ditch in the forest at Huntley Meadows Park. I spotted approximately six males and several females during the fortnight. Their sudden disappearance seemed to coincide with a population explosion of Eastern Pondhawk dragonflies (Erythemis simplicicollis) in mid-May. Eastern Pondhawks, especially females, are voracious predators with a penchant for preying upon damselflies.
An adult female Southern Spreadwing was spotted perching on vegetation alongside a drainage ditch in the forest. She was resting after laying eggs (oviposition) in tandem with an adult male Southern Spreadwing.
- Related Resources:
- Another new species of spreadwing damselfly…
- A Southern Fortnight, Part 1 – Year-long mystery solved!
- A Southern Fortnight, Part 2 – Damselfly terminal appendages (male)
- A Southern Fortnight, Part 3 – Southern Spreadwing damselfly (male)
- A Southern Fortnight, Part 4 – Southern Spreadwing damselfly (female)
- A Southern Fortnight, Part 5 – Southern Spreadwing damselflies (mating pairs, in tandem)
- A Southern Fortnight, Part 6 – Damselfly reproductive anatomy
- A Southern Fortnight, Part 7 – “Arty”
Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.