Late-season Swift Setwing dragonflies

Several Swift Setwing dragonflies (Dythemis velox) were spotted during a photowalk around Mulligan Pond, Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge (JMAWR), Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

05 SEP 2017 | JMAWR | Swift Setwing (mature male)

Both individuals featured in this post are mature males, as indicated by their terminal appendages, discolored abdomen, and tattered wings.

05 SEP 2017 | JMAWR | Swift Setwing (mature male)

05 SEP 2017 | JMAWR | Swift Setwing (mature male)

Adult Flight Period for Swift Setwing

Late-season Swift Setwing dragonflies,” the title of this blog post, implies that the adult flight period for this species in Northern Virginia is well known. It isn’t.

The Dragonflies of Northern Virginia Calendar of Flight Periods by Kevin Munroe, former manager at Huntley Meadows Park, doesn’t include Swift Setwing because the species was unknown to occur in Northern Virginia before it was discovered on 24 June 2016 in Fairfax County by my good friend Michael Powell. One year later, we’re still gathering data for this newcomer to the region.

The adult flight period for Swift Setwing in the Commonwealth of Virginia is from 20 June to 02 October, according to records maintained by Steven M. Roble, Ph.D., Staff Zoologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage.

September is in fact late-season for Swift Setwing, based upon state records — a fact underscored by qualitative observations of the appearance of males photographed in early August and early September at the same location.

Post Update

I just realized Mike Powell spotted the First Swift Setwing in 2017 on 19 June 2017 at Mulligan Pond — a new early date for this species in Virginia!

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “Late-season Swift Setwing dragonflies”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    Thanks for the mention, Walter. I’ll be keeping an eye out for these guys to see how long they are present, You got some really nice side views of the Swift Setwings–so often they are facing out into the water and a side view shot is almost impossible to get without getting wet.

    • waltersanford Says:

      I don’t recall seeing Swift Setwing in September last year. Yeah, with a lot of patience and persistence, I was able to shoot the three side views. FWIW, three of 23 shots were side views; the rest were butt shots. 😉

  2. Top 10 Photos of 2017 | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] 05 SEP 2017 | Jackson Miles Abbott WR | Swift Setwing (mature male) […]

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