Many Southern Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes australis) were observed around the stormwater management pond located at Mason Neck West Park (MNWP) during Fall 2016. The following gallery, presented in chronological order, showcases select specimens spotted during several photowalks at the park.
The first individual is a female, as indicated by her coloration and terminal appendages.
The next two photos show a couple of males, as indicated by their coloration and terminal appendages.
The following photo shows a mating pair “in tandem,” the post-copulatory phase when the male guides the female to egg-laying sites. The male is on top; the female on the bottom.
More males were spotted on consecutive days in early-October.
The last individual is a female that I found resting/roosting in a field of grasses, quite a distance from the water. As it turns out, this female — spotted on 14 October 2016 — is also the last Southern Spreadwing observed at Mason Neck West Park during 2016. It’s worth noting the late-date for Southern Spreadwing at MNWP is consistent with the late-date of 15 October 2015 for the same species at Huntley Meadows Park.
Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.