Posts Tagged ‘Rambur’s Forktail damselfly’

Rambur’s Forktail damselfly (female)

December 16, 2016

A Rambur’s Forktail damselfly (Ischnura ramburii) was spotted at Mason Neck West Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is an immature heteromorph female, as indicated by the reddish-orange coloration of her thorax and abdominal segments one and two (S1-2), and reddish-orange postocular spots; her coloration will become duller as she matures. Andromorph females are colored like males.

A Rambur's Forktail damselfly (Ischnura ramburii) spotted at Mason Neck West Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is an immature heteromorph female.

03 OCT 2016 | Mason Neck West Park | Rambur’s Forktail (female)

This sighting was another reminder of one of many Walterisms: Don’t be dismissive! Huh? Male Rambur’s Forktail damselflies look similar to male Eastern Forktail damselflies (Ischnura verticalis). Eastern Forktails are relatively common, especially during spring and early-summer. Common. That’s the key word. When I noticed several male Rambur’s Forktails at the water retention pond I thought, “Oh, Eastern Forktails. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.” Fortunately I spotted the immature heteromorph female and realized the error of my ways.

I’ll say it again: Don’t be dismissive — that kind of thinking can result in missed opportunities for wildlife photographers. I never expected to see Rambur’s Forktails at Mason Neck West Park and my preconceptions almost caused me to miss a golden opportunity to see a relatively uncommon damselfly.

Related Resources: Excellent digital scans created by Gayle and Jeanelle Strickland. Click on the button labeled “Download file” in order to view full-size version of the graphics.

  • Ischnura ramburii female #2 | heteromorph female | JPG
  • Ischnura ramburii female #8 | andromorph female | JPG
  • Ischnura ramburii male #2 | male | JPG

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Rambur’s Forktail damselfly (female)

November 16, 2012

The following photos show a Rambur’s Forktail damselfly (Ischnura ramburii) spotted along the shore of Accotink Bay. This individual is the orange-red heteromorph female.

Females orange-red, olive green, or may look like males. Source Credit: Wikipedia.


Habitat: Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge, a 1,200 acre preserve located at Army Garrison Fort Belvoir, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

Special thanks to Mr. Chris Hobson, Natural Areas Zoologist with the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, for kindly allowing Project Noah spotter “Louisa” and me to tag along on one of his wildlife surveys!

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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