Posts Tagged ‘Enchanted Pond’

Southern- or Sweetflag Spreadwing?

May 27, 2016

I spotted a skittish spreadwing damselfly on 14 May 2016 during a photowalk around Enchanted Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area. I was able to shoot some photos of the spreadwing during a follow-up visit on 20 May 2016.

A male member of the Family Lestidae of damselflies (Spreadwings) spotted at Enchanted Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is either a Southern Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes australis) or Sweetflag Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes forcipatus).

This individual is a member of the Family Lestidae of damselflies (Spreadwings): it is either a Southern Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes australis) or Sweetflag Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes forcipatus). It is a male, as indicated by its terminal appendages: Southern Spreadwing; Sweetflag Spreadwing.

A male member of the Family Lestidae of damselflies (Spreadwings) spotted at Enchanted Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is either a Southern Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes australis) or Sweetflag Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes forcipatus).

According to Ed Lam, author and illustrator of Damselflies of the Northeast, “Male Southern and Sweetflag cannot be separated in the field.”

In my experience at Huntley Meadows Park, Southern Spreadwing is an early season (spring) species; Sweetflag Spreadwing is a late season (fall) species. In deference to Ed Lam’s expertise, I’ll go with the either/or classification rather than a somewhat speculative single species identification.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Common Baskettail dragonfly (male, in flight)

May 17, 2016

A Common Baskettail dragonfly (Epitheca cynosura) spotted at Enchanted Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male, in flight.

Common Baskettail (Epitheca cynosura) was spotted on 14 May 2016 at Enchanted Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male, as indicated by its terminal appendages. Notice the male’s bright blue-green eyes in the preceding photo. It’s easy to see why Common Baskettail is a member of the Emerald Family of dragonflies!

Enchanted Pond is relatively small. The shoreline seemed to be subdivided into imaginary segments of valuable real estate; each segment was patrolled by a single male Common Baskettail dragonfly. There were frequent aerial skirmishes when one male strayed into the territory of another. During nearly an hour of observation, I never saw one of the males land. Talk about stamina!

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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