Sunday, August 19, 2007

Maine Damsels

Dragonflies and Damselflies darted in and out of the swamps and bogs at little pond. All types, from bluets to spreadwings, and meadowhawks to darners were present in Maine. Here is a roundup of the damselflies of Little Pond.

First, the damselflies:

Eastern forktails, a tiny little damsel that we have in Ohio as well, were quite common.

Here is the male. He is perched on bog rosemary, Andromeda polifolia var. glaucophylla, common in bogs in Maine, but a shrub that has become extirpated here in Ohio.

And this, possibly, is a female. Female damselflies are typically much less striking than their colorful male counterparts. Although not as boldly colored, they still possess a sublime beauty.

Here, I think I have another eastern forktail mail, but this guy has more of a bluish color. He still has the distinctive lines on his thorax that somewhat look like exclamation points, but notice, there is not a complete gap like the fragile forktail, a species I did not see in Maine.

Next up we have a sphagnum sprite, Nehalennia gracilis. This species is named because it lives in habitats with sphagnum moss, and bogs are bogs because of sphagnum, or peat moss. The emerald green thorax tipped me off that this guy was interesting. I remember people pointing these out to me last year at Singer Lake Bog in northeast Ohio, but this was the first time I had photographed this species.

Next up is what I believe is a vesper bluet. I haven't seen this species before, but Larry Rosche writes in his book that this species lives in lakes and is most often seen sitting on lilypads, so I think I'm on the right track. The neon yellow thorax and the blue abdominal segment look to match the illustration in his book as well.

To switch things up a bit, now we'll enter the world of spreadwing damselflies. These can be difficult to identify, and I'm not even going to try to guess which species are in the following pictures. Note that these damselflies hold their wings out at an angle while at rest, while other damsels hold their wings closed and above their thorax.

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