Posts Tagged ‘young male’

Halloween Pennant (young male)

July 25, 2017

Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) was spotted during a photowalk at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge (OBNWR), Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male, as indicated by his yellowish-orange coloration, hamules, and terminal appendages.

Both photos in this gallery show the dragonfly perching at the top of Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides). Eastern gamagrass grows to a height of five- to six feet.

Look at the full-size version of the preceding photo. With its jaw open, the head of this pennant reminds me of the skull on a Jolly Roger flag. Argh, matey!

The last photo is my favorite in the set. The clarity, color palette and composition are perfect, he said not too modestly.

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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Part 4: Young male Slender Spreadwings

August 5, 2016

The Backstory: A cohort of emergent/teneral Slender Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes rectangularis) was discovered during late-May and early-June 2016 at a vernal pool located in Huntley Meadows Park (HMP). I have seen/photographed many female Slender Spreadwings in the past, but only one male. For the next few weeks, I focused upon finding and photographing mostly males from the cohort. Young male Slender Spreadwings dispersed into nearby fields soon after emergence from the vernal pool.

Young Males

Several Slender Spreadwing damselflies were spotted in a meadow located near a vernal pool from which they probably emerged. All of these individuals are young males, as indicated by their coloration and terminal appendages.

31 May 2016

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

31 MAY 2016 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (young male)

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

31 MAY 2016 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (young male)

06 June 2016

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

06 JUN 2016 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (young male)

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

06 JUN 2016 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (young male)

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

06 JUN 2016 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (young male)

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

06 JUN 2016 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (young male)

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

06 JUN 2016 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (young male)

10 June 2016

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

10 JUN 2016 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (young male)

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

10 JUN 2016 | HMP | Slender Spreadwing (young male)

Editor’s Note: This is Part 4 in a five-part series of blog posts documenting a cohort of Slender Spreadwing damselflies that emerged from a single vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park, presented in reverse-chronological order from mature, reproducing adults to emergent tenerals.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

More young male Halloween Pennants

July 24, 2016

More young male Halloween Pennant dragonflies (Celithemis eponina) were spotted on 06 July 2016 during a follow-up photowalk at Meadowood Recreation Area (MRA).

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

The last photo is my favorite in this set. Which photo is your favorite?

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Halloween Pennant dragonfly (young male)

July 16, 2016

Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) was spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area (MRA). This individual is a young male, as indicated by its coloration, hamules, and terminal appendages.

The coloration of immature male Halloween Pennants is similar to females of the same species: as males mature, their coloration (including the pterostigmata) darkens slowly to orange-red; this “young male” is at a stage between female- and male coloration.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Bar-winged Skimmer dragonfly (mature male)

June 20, 2015

Bar-winged Skimmer dragonflies (Libellula axilena) look similar to Great Blue Skimmer dragonflies (Libellula vibrans).

A Bar-winged Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula axilena) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a mature male.

10 JUN 2015 | HMP | Bar-winged Skimmer (mature male)

Several key field markers can be used to differentiate the two species of dragonflies, as shown in the following annotated images.

A Bar-winged Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula axilena) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a mature male.

10 JUN 2015 | HMP | Bar-winged Skimmer (mature male)

Bar-winged Skimmers have dark reddish-brown eyes and a metallic black face; Great Blue Skimmers have blue eyes and a white face. Also notice the Bar-winged Skimmer has a small black bar along the “costa” (the leading edge of both the fore- and hind wings), located between the nodus and pterostigma — hence its common name, “Bar-winged Skimmer“; the Great Blue Skimmer does not.

A Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula vibrans) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

31 MAY 2015 | HMP | Great Blue Skimmer (mature male)

Side view of Great Blue Skimmer (shown above); dorsal view (shown below).

A Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula vibrans) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

31 MAY 2015 | HMP | Great Blue Skimmer (young male)

The following gallery features several more photos of the same Bar-winged Skimmer spotted at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP) on 10 June 2015.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Slaty Skimmer dragonfly terminal appendages

June 14, 2015

Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) is a member of the Skimmer Family of dragonflies that is spotted during the summer and fall months at many water bodies in the mid-Atlantic United States, such as the wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park.

Slaty Skimmers display sexual dimorphism. Although mature males and females look different, immature males and females look similar. Terminal appendages may be used to differentiate immature males from females.

A Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

06 JUN 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Slaty Skimmer (female)

Female dragonflies have a pair of cerci (superior appendages) that have little or no function. (See a full-size version of the following image, without annotation.)

A Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

06 JUN 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Slaty Skimmer (female)

Look closely at the full-size version of the preceding annotated image. Female Slaty Skimmers have a pair of flanges beneath their eighth abdominal segment (S8) that are used to scoop water when laying eggs (oviposition), hence the family name “Skimmer.” Remember that all dragonflies and damselflies have a 10-segmented abdomen, numbered from front to back.

Immature male Slaty Skimmers and immature/adult female Slaty Skimmers are nearly identical in appearance except for their terminal appendages. (See a full-size version of the following image, without annotation.)

A Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta) spotted at Little Hunting Creek, Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is an immature male.

07 JUL 2014 | Huntley Meadows Park | Slaty Skimmer (immature male)

Male dragonflies have three terminal appendages, collectively called “claspers,” that are used to grab and hold female dragonflies during mating: an upper pair of cerci (“superior appendages”) and a lower unpaired epiproct (“inferior appendage”). (See a full-size version of the following image, without annotation.)

A Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male with a slightly malformed wing.

06 JUN 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Slaty Skimmer (young male)

This individual is a young male, as indicated by the blue-black partial pruinescence covering his body. He has a slightly malformed wing that is more noticeable in the preceding side view and less noticeable in the following dorsal view.

A Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male with a slightly malformed wing.

06 JUN 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Slaty Skimmer (young male)

Black pruinescence that completely covers the body of following mature male Slaty Skimmer makes it look quite different from the immature male (shown above), other than its terminal appendages.

A Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a mature male.

10 SEP 2014 | Huntley Meadows Park | Slaty Skimmer (mature male)

Digital scans by G & J Strickland:

Digital Dragonflies: presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Libellula | Libellula incesta | Slaty Skimmer | male | top view
  • Genus Libellula | Libellula incesta | Slaty Skimmer | male | side view

Related Resources: Odonate Terminal Appendages.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly terminal appendages

May 31, 2015

Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella) is a member of the Skimmer Family of dragonflies that is spotted during the summer months at many water bodies in the mid-Atlantic United States, such as the wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP).

Twelve-spotted Skimmers display sexual dimorphism; terminal appendages may be used to differentiate immature males from females.

Male dragonflies have three terminal appendages, collectively called “claspers,” that are used to grab and hold female dragonflies during mating: an upper pair of cerci (“superior appendages”) and a lower unpaired epiproct (“inferior appendage”).

The preceding individual is a young male, as indicated by the white partial pruinescence covering his abdomen. In contrast, the abdomen of the following mature male is completely white.

Female dragonflies have a pair of cerci (superior appendages) that have little or no function.

Related Resources: Odonate Terminal Appendages.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

May 29, 2015

A Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula pulchella) was spotted near a vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP). This individual is a young adult male, as indicated by its partial pruinescence, distinctive pattern of wing spots, and terminal appendages. As a mature adult male, its abdomen will be completely covered by white pruinescence.

A Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula pulchella) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

22 MAY 2015 | HMP | Twelve-spotted Skimmer (young male)

Among dragonflies that exhibit sexual dimorphism, such as Twelve-spotted Skimmers, immature/young males and females are similar in appearance. The pattern of wing spots is a key field marker for identification of Twelve-spotted Skimmer males and females, in addition to differences in their terminal appendages.

A Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula pulchella) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

22 MAY 2015 | HMP | Twelve-spotted Skimmer (young male)

Editor’s Note: With no disrespect intended toward Kevin Munroe, whom I admire and respect, I feel compelled to point out an error on Kevin’s Twelve-spotted Skimmer page. In the lower-right corner of page 1, an immature male is misidentified as a female. Believe me when I tell you Kevin’s expertise far exceeds mine, but hey, only someone like me with a fixation on odonate terminal appendages would have recognized the immature male’s claspers!

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

February 22, 2015

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula pulchella) was photographed along the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park on 10 September 2014. This individual is a young adult male, as indicated by its partial pruinescence, distinctive pattern of wing spots, and terminal appendages. As a mature adult male dragonfly, its abdomen will be completely covered by white pruinescence.

Among dragonflies that exhibit sexual dimorphism, such as Twelve-spotted Skimmers, immature/young males and females are similar in appearance. The pattern of wing spots is a key field marker for identification of Twelve-spotted Skimmer males and females, in addition to differences in their terminal appendages.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

The red berries, shown in the background, are the fruit of Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris); the green globes are the fruit of buttonbush (Cephalanthus sp.).

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

I love a good shot of a head-tilt!

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Familiar Bluet damselflies (males)

October 5, 2014

This post features photos of two damselflies spotted during recent photowalks at Huntley Meadows Park.

Familiar Bluet damselfly (Enallagma civile) is shown in the first photo. This individual is a male, in flight over the central wetland area.

Familiar Bluet damselfly (male, in flight)

15 September 2014

Question is, what type of damselfly is shown in the following photo?

Familiar Bluet damselfly (female)

28 September 2014

Would you believe it’s another Familiar Bluet damselfly? This individual is either an immature- or young male, as indicated by the blue pruinescence that is just beginning to appear on its body. At this stage, male Familiar Bluets look similar to females.

Thanks to the following members of the Northeast Odonata Facebook group for their kind assistance in identifying the species and gender of the damselfly shown in the preceding photo: Steve Price; and Ed Lam, author and illustrator of Damselflies of the Northeast.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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