Currently viewing the category: "Dragonflies and Damselflies"
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Subject: Bug in our pond
Location: Central Texas
August 15, 2015 1:26 pm
Ok I have no idea what this bug is but it freaks me out. I’ve looked on all these different websites trying to identify it but have never been able to. It has 6 legs and like a stinger looking thing on its butt.
Signature: Hannah

Dragonfly Naiad

Dragonfly Naiad

Dear Hannah,
You have Dragonfly Naiads, the aquatic nymphs that will eventually metamorphose into the familiar winged adult Dragonflies.  Dragonflies are predators their entire lives.  Adult Dragonflies prey upon flying insects including mosquitoes, and the naiads help to control populations of wrigglers and tumblers, the aquatic larvae and pupae of Mosquitoes.

Dragonfly Naiads

Dragonfly Naiads

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Subject: Dragonflies are awesome!
Location: Back Bay National Park, Virginia Beach
August 14, 2015 3:21 am
Hi Daniel!
I absolutely love your site, by the way.
Anyways, my dad and I took a trip to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, at Virginia beach, at the end of July. My dad and I both love birdwatching, so we go there with binoculars and a camera, in my case. To my delight, the place was filled with many different species of dragonflies!!! Needless to say, I didn’t get much birdwatching done. 😛
I’m attaching three photos and (I think) I’ve identified the first two, but I have no idea what the third might be. Any thoughts?
1- Four spotted pennant
2- Widow skimmer (female)
3- ???
Thank you for all the work you do!
Signature: Al

Four Spotted Pennant

Four Spotted Pennant

Dear Al,
Thanks for the compliment.  We agree with your identification of the Four Spotted Skimmer based on images posted to BugGuide, but we are not certain that the second individual is a female Widow Skimmer.  Often female Dragonflies have less obvious coloration and markings and they can be more difficult to identify.  We are posting your images and perhaps one of our readers will weigh in on an identification while we continue to research the matter.

Unidentified Dragonfly

Unidentified Dragonfly

Unidentified Dragonfly

Unidentified Dragonfly

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Subject: Swamp Darner attacked by hornet
Location: Rochester, NY
August 10, 2015 1:51 pm
Hi!
While trying to identify the dragonfly in my picture I came across this post of yours:
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2009/09/03/european-hornet-eats-dragonfly-unknown-darner/
and the comments led me to correctly identify the dragonfly as a Swamp Darner, as it is identical to the photos and descriptions on BugGuide, here: http://www.bugguide.net/node/view/2584 The dragonfly pictured was easily 4-5 inches in length.
I believe the attacker may be a European Hornet, as it look very similar to the insect in the original post?
I took this photo August 8th in Rochester, NY. I noticed a loud buzzing and the sound of the dragonfly hitting the glass door several times as he valiantly attempted to keep flying and fend off his attacker. The efforts became more feeble and the hornet appeared to be crawling around going straight for the underside of the thorax. The dragonfly kept curling his abdomen, but after several minutes he seemed pretty much gone, and I could have sworn I heard crunching- the hornet eating his prize.
It was a pretty incredible sight; the kids I was babysitting had very different reactions. The 9 year old, “it’s probably laying eggs in the dragonfly,” and walked away unconcerned. The 2 year old kept trying to go touch it and seemed very concerned for the dragonfly’s well-being.
I thought you might appreciate the picture. Sorry it’s captioned; it’s the only one I had time to get while keeping a 2 year old away from touching!
Signature: Jamie

Swamp Darner attacked bt European Hornet

Swamp Darner attacked bt European Hornet

Hi Jamie,
Your image is an excellent documentation of this Food Chain scenario, but your written account of the observation is especially interesting.  We agree the predator is a European Hornet, and the long term effect that these top of the Food Chain introduced Invasive Exotic predators is having on the native insect population like this Swamp Darner may or may not be significant.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What dragonfly is this
Location: Nazareth, Israel
July 28, 2015 12:01 pm
Help me identify this
Signature: Raed

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Dear Raed,
Wow, we just responded as an anagram.  We believe this may be a Southern Darter,
Sympetrum meridionale, based on this Getty Images posting.  We don’t read French, but there appears to be some information on the Nature 22 site.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

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Subject: Dragonfly with unusual colors
Location: South Mississippi near the coast, Ocean Springs
July 23, 2015 9:15 pm
Hello
My daughter took this pic 07/23/15 in her backyard in Ocean Springs, MS. It appears the body is almost completely white, while the wings are transparent with these remarkable black parts. She reported it was dive-bombing the lawn mower while she was mowing the lawn. She also mentioned she has been seeing it, or identical ones, repeatedly for about 2 weeks now. BTW, the weather has been no rain and very hot and humid for weeks now, following our Memorial Day floods all around the southeast U.S.
I’m guessing this is a male “common whitetail”, or long-tailed skimmer, perhaps Plathemis lydia. Am I close?
Thank you, love this site!!!
Signature: Amateur Entomologist and fan of “What’s That Bug?”

Common Whitetail

Common Whitetail

Dear Amateur Entomologist,
Thanks so much for your enthusiastic praise.  We agree that based on images posted to BugGuide, this is a male Common Whitetail, and the scientific name is
Plathemis lydia.  In the future, you do not need to reduce the image size when you submit images as we can handle accepting large digital files.

Thanks!
I’ll be sure to send the full unmodified file next time, hopefully something more noteworthy.  BTW I just today got a slow fly-by from a healthy sized cicada killer wasp, first sighting of the season.  Bless them for helping dampen the racket we’re having right now.
Which reminds me, you kindly posted my item on 06/16/06:
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2006/06/16/cicada-killer-8/
but I noticed that your link to my goofy little movie was malformed and so it doesn’t work.  The file is still there on my server, the location is:
http://www.jrj3.com/arthropods/ckwasp.mpg
I thought it was unusual in that it showed the wasp returning to the exact same palm frond several times within about 15 secs.  I thought, protecting nest and/or mate probably.
Best,
James

My, you have been reading our site for a long time James.  We will correct the posting problems and post the new link to your video on the Cicada Killer page.  The behavior in the video is that of a male defending his territory.  Males will stake out good nesting places in the hope of attracting a mate and the males will buzz anything that enters the territory, but since only the females sting, the behavior of the male Cicada Killer poses no threat to humans.  Females which are capable of stinging are quite docile and we have yet to get a substantiated report of a person being stung by a Cicada Killer.

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Subject: Ebony Jewelwing
Location: Short Hills Provincial Park, Thorold, Ontario
July 14, 2015 4:52 am
Hi WTB!
…  It was a very colourful day for bugs, as you can see — I was also able to see many Ebony Jewelwings, and they exhibited a similar range of colours. Some were a lighter aquamarine colour, and some, like the last picture provided, were more of an indigo colour.
Anyway, I love your site, and hope you enjoy these pictures even if you don’t post them. Thank you for the great service you provide :)
Signature: Brad

Ebony Jewelwing

Ebony Jewelwing

Dear Brad,
Thanks for sending us a beautiful image of a gorgeous male Ebony Jewelwing, a species of Damselfly

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination