Posts Tagged ‘Lestes rectangularis’

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

October 14, 2015

The following gallery of photos features a Slender Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes rectangularis) spotted near a vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP). This individual is a female, as indicated by its terminal appendages and the ovipositor located on the underside of the posterior abdomen. The ovipositor is used to insert eggs into vegetation (endophytic oviposition).

A Slender Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes rectangularis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

08 OCT 2015 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (female)

See a full-size version of the preceding photo, without annotation.

A Slender Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes rectangularis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

08 OCT 2015 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (female)

Look closely at the tip of the female’s abdomen. Notice a couple of anatomical structures: two cerci (sing. cercus), superior appendages that have little or no function; and two styli (sing. stylus), structures that serve as sensors (like “curb feelers“) in egg positioning during oviposition.

A Slender Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes rectangularis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

08 OCT 2015 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (female)

See a full-size version of the preceding photo, without annotation. Adobe Photoshop was used to remove a couple of small distracting elements from the photo.

The last two photos provide a good side view of the ovipositor.

A Slender Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes rectangularis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

08 OCT 2015 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (female)

A Slender Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes rectangularis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

08 OCT 2015 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (female)

Related Resource: Odonate Terminal Appendages.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

March 30, 2015
Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

06 OCT 2014 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

The preceding photograph shows a Slender Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes rectangularis) spotted near a vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP). This individual is a female as indicated by its terminal appendages and the ovipositor located on the underside of the posterior abdomen.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Year in review: New finds in 2014 (odonates)

November 20, 2014

In addition to several “New discoveries in 2014,” I spotted several species of odonates in 2014 that were new finds for my “life list,” as well as a few first-time sightings of either a male or female for familiar species of dragonflies.

Ashy Clubtail dragonfly (male)

This is my first confirmed spotting of an Ashy Clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus lividus).

Ashy- or Lancet Clubtail

02 May 2014 | Meadowood Recreation Area

Common Baskettail dragonfly (male)

This is my first confirmed spotting of a male Common Baskettail dragonfly (Epitheca cynosura). I have seen a few females in the past.

Common Baskettail dragonfly (male)

02 May 2014 | Meadowood Recreation Area

Bar-winged Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

This is my first spotting of a Bar-winged Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula axilena).

Bar-winged Skimmer dragonfly (young adult male)

31 May 2014 | Huntley Meadows Park

Painted Skimmer dragonflies (male, female)

Although I had seen one Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) in the past, these individuals are among the first ones I photographed.

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

Male | 06 June 2014 | Huntley Meadows Park

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (female)

Female | 23 May 2014 | Huntley Meadows Park

Swamp Darner dragonfly (female, oviposition)

I have seen lots of Swamp Darner dragonflies (Epiaeschna heros) in the past, but it’s challenging to identify their gender on the wing. I photographed one perching male on 04 June 2012. The following individual is one of the first confirmed females that I have spotted.

Swamp Darner dragonfly (female, oviposition)

02 June 2014 | Huntley Meadows Park

Spot-winged Glider dragonfly (female)

This is the first confirmed female Spot-winged Glider dragonfly (Pantala hymenaea) that I have spotted.

Spot-winged Glider dragonfly (Pantala hymenaea)

15 July 2014 | Beacon of Groveton

Eastern Pondhawk dragonflies (mating pair, in wheel)

This mating pair of Eastern Pondhawk dragonflies (Erythemis simplicicollis) is one of the first times I was quick enough to photograph a pair “in wheel.” This image is also among the first photographs taken using my Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera, 55-200mm zoom lens (88-320mm, 35mm equivalent), and Fujifilm Shoe Mount Flash EF-42 in TTL mode.

Eastern Pondhawk dragonflies (mating pair, in wheel)

20 August 2014 | Huntley Meadows Park

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (male)

I have seen many female Slender Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes rectangularis) in the past, but this is the first male I spotted.

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (male)

28 September 2014 | Huntley Meadows Park

Shadow Darner dragonfly (male)

Although I have spotted Shadow Darner dragonflies (Aeshna umbrosa) in the past, this is one of the first individuals I photographed.

Shadow Darner dragonfly (male)

24 October 2014 | Huntley Meadows Park

Related Resources:

Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 in a three-part series — a retrospective look at 2014.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Slender Spreadwing damselflies (females, oviposition)

October 17, 2014

The following photo galleries, shown in reverse-chronological order, feature four female Slender Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes rectangularis) spotted photowalking at Huntley Meadows Park on two days during September 2014: Gallery 1-2 (26/09/2014); Gallery 3-4 (23/09/2014). All four individuals are shown laying eggs (oviposition).

…females oviposit solo, unusual in spreadwings, and about a foot above water. Eggs commonly laid in cattails, one (1) egg per incision. Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 1682-1683). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Gallery 3

Gallery 4

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

October 15, 2014

The following photos show a Slender Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes rectangularis) spotted on 17 September 2014 alongside the boardwalk in the central wetland area hemi-marsh at Huntley Meadows Park.

This individual is a female as indicated by its terminal appendages and the ovipositor located on the underside of the posterior abdomen.

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

Cleared for take-off …

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Another first!

September 29, 2014

I was delighted to find my first male Slender Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes rectangularis) during a photowalk at Huntley Meadows Park on Sunday, 28 September 2014.

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (male)

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (male)

The Backstory: I added the following post to the Northeast Odonata Facebook group on Saturday, 27 September 2014.

There are two species of spreadwing damselflies on the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park Dragonflies and Damselflies species list: Slender Spreadwing; and Swamp Spreadwing. I have seen and/or photographed lots of Slender Spreadwing damselflies at the park; oddly, EVERY ONE was female! Really, what are the odds I would NEVER see a Slender Spreadwing male? Should I look for males in a particular place? And I have NEVER seen a Swamp Spreadwing, neither male nor female! Again, what are the odds? HMP features a HUGE wetland area including a long boardwalk that makes much of the marshland easy to access. Same question regarding Swamp Spreadwings — is there a particular place where I should look for them?

My post received one reply. One reply provided all the information I needed.

In my experience, Swamp Spreadwings are easier to find early in the day, like around two- or three hours after sunrise. Slender Spreadwing males should be around, but skulking kind of low, maybe away from the water like in brush. Source Credit: SueandJohnKestrelHaven.

Many odonates are habitat-specific; they are easier to find when you know where to look. Turns out I’ve been looking in the wrong place for male Slender Spreadwing damselflies. On the strength of good advice from Sue, I found one more quickly than expected. Thanks, Sue!

Now, if I can just get up and out the door early enough to test Sue’s advice regarding where and when to find Swamp Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes vigilax), then I might get lucky again!

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

August 30, 2014

 

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

The preceding photo shows a Slender Spreadwing damselfly (Lestes rectangularis) spotted on 24 August 2014 alongside the boardwalk in the central wetland area hemi-marsh at Huntley Meadows Park.

This individual is a female as indicated by its terminal appendages and the ovipositor located on the underside of the posterior abdomen.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Slender Spreading damselflies (females)

July 1, 2014

I spotted two Slender Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes rectangularis) during a photowalk at Huntley Meadows Park on 23 June 2014. Both damselflies are females.

The first individual was spotted near a vernal pool far from the central wetland area. Its blue coloration is extraordinarily beautiful!

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

The second individual was spotted alongside the boardwalk in the central wetland area hemi-marsh. Notice the difference in coloration between these two female damselflies of the same species.

I don’t think all females get as blue as in your previous pictures [shown above]. Like I always say, structure and pattern are better [field] marks than color. Source Credit: Ed Lam, author and illustrator of Damselflies of the Northeast.

Slender Spreadwing damselfly (female)

Special thanks to Ed Lam and Dennis Doucet, members of the “Northeast Odonata” Facebook group, for help in identifying the damselflies featured in this post!

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Slender Spreadwing damselflies

January 3, 2014

The Family Lestidae (Spreadwings) of damselflies is one of three families of Suborder Zygoptera known to occur in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States of America.

These are medium to large damselflies of worldwide distribution that usually hold their wings open, but several genera in the Old World keep them closed. All spreadwings close their wings at night, in bad weather, and when threatened by predators or males harassing females. Those in North America perch with long abdomen inclined downward, even vertically. Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 1325-1327). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

The following retrospective, shown in reverse-chronological order, shows five female Slender Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes rectangularis) spotted photowalking through Huntley Meadows Park during four days in September 2013.

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Gallery 3

Notice the ovipositor located on the underside of the posterior abdomen, clearly shown in the following photo of Female 1.

Gallery 4

Thanks to Mr. Chris Hobson, Natural Areas Zoologist with the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, for verifying my tentative identification of the specimen shown in Gallery 4, observed on 19 September 2013. Also thanks to Ed Lam, author and illustrator of Damselflies of the Northeast, for confirming my tentative identification of both the species and gender of two different females shown in Gallery 3, observed on 24 September 2013.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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