Final Fine-lined Emerald

Several Fine-lined Emerald dragonflies (Somatochlora filosa) were spotted during a photowalk with Michael Powell at an undisclosed location in Prince William County, Virginia USA. At least six S. filosa were spotted along two dirt/gravel roads at the site; this is the last one we saw.

This individual is a male, as indicated by his “indented” hind wings and terminal appendages.

Decisions, decisions!

I shot 37 photographs of the following dragonfly perched in several places: two photos are out of focus; most of the rest are flawed in some way (in my opinion), for example I don’t like the background, or the composition, etc.

As it turns out, the last group of photos is my favorite. Within that group, I selected a subset of three photos that I like. Although the photos are similar, they are subtly different. I think one of the images is the clear winner, but I suffer from decision paralysis sometimes. The photos are shown in the order in which they were taken. Which one is your favorite?


18 SEP 2019 | PNC. Wm. County | Fine-lined Emerald (male)

No. 2

18 SEP 2019 | PNC. Wm. County | Fine-lined Emerald (male)

No. 3

18 SEP 2019 | PNC. Wm. County | Fine-lined Emerald (male)


I think I might have figured out the habitat/breeding habitat for Fine-lined Emerald dragonflies. As Mike Powell and I were walking along one of several roads at the site that lead to hotspots for hunting Fine-lined Emerald, I noticed shallow pools of “black water” in the forest, beginning about halfway down one of the dirt/gravel roads at the park. I mentioned to Mike that I think the black water pools are habitat for S. filosa.

Sure enough, that’s exactly where we spotted the male featured in this post — the last one we saw as we were walking back to Mike’s car. It’s worth noting we have never seen a Fine-lined Emerald that far from the main hotspots. Mike saw several more S. filosa in the same area a few days later. Hey, I might be onto something!

Copyright © 2019 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “Final Fine-lined Emerald”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    They are all wonderful shots, Walter. I think I have a very slight preference for the angle of the final shot that has a somewhat clearer view of the wings.

  2. Michael Boatwright Says:

    #1 seems a bit sharper to me..they are all nice though!

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