Currently viewing the category: "Dragonflies and Damselflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Second Spotted Wing Dragonfly
Location: Faribault County, Minnesota
July 14, 2016 12:58 pm
Greetings!
I think I owe y’all an apology.
I asked about the identification of some dragonflies this week, one being amber in color and two with spotted wings. The way I phrased my query could lead one to assume the spotted wing photos were of the same dragonfly; they are not the same dragonfly. Differing angles, yes; the spots however are not the same.
So, I am re-submitting the one and adding an additional photo to go with it taken at an ever so slightly different angle (I think I moved a tad while weeding).
The third image is another photo of the female Common Whitetail you identified for me. I figured you could add it to your files. I’m allowed three attachments, after all …
Thanks so much!
Signature: Wanda J. Kothlow

Immature Male Whitetail

Immature Male Common Whitetail

Dear Wanda,
Does your rain garden have a pond?  You have so many marvelous Dragonflies.  As we wrote yesterday, the spotted winged Dragonfly is a female Common Whitetail,
Plathemis lydia.  The other spotted winged Dragonfly image you provided today is an immature male Common Whitetail.  Many Dragonflies are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females look like different species.  Additionally, many Dragonflies have immature individuals that change in color as they mature.  The Common Whitetail is one such species and the mature male Common Whitetail has a namesake white abdomen.  According to BugGuide:  “Males and females have different wing patterns. … Immature males have the same body pattern as females but the same wing pattern as mature males. … Mature males have a short, stout abdomen that is completely chalky blue-white covering the adolescent pattern. … Females have a short, stout abdomen with several oblique dorsolateral white or pale yellow markings against a brown ground color; each wing has three black evenly-spaced blotches.”

Female Whitetail

Female Whitetail

Thank you, Daniel et al!
Unless you count the birdbath, we have no pond or standing water (so no dragonfly nymphs) here at the apartments. We do water most evenings, especially since we’ve been moving plants and adding others and the days are getting hotter and drier. Others in town do have small rain gardens; Mom lives a mile away on the edge of town and her rain garden does have water since her sump pump drains into the rain garden down an artificial waterfall inset. In heavier rains, the field behind her has standing water for a few days and the peepers sing their chorus until the water dries up. I saw a spotted wing dragonfly there yesterday, but it flew away before I could make an ID.
So now I have a female Common Whitetail, an immature male Common Whitetail – all I need to photo now is a mature male Common Whitetail. I’ll keep my eyes open!
I do agree we have interesting dragonflies here; I have photos of reds, other blues, other spotted wings, small sizes, medium sizes, and a giant (as big as my hand!) green that reminds me of Cyclops. I have a few marvelous photos of Damselflies as well. I’ll send some more photos later this summer.
Thank you, again. I appreciate your time and attention to making these identifications for me.
Blessings to you!
Wanda

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dragonfly Behavior
Location: Faribault County, Minnesota
July 13, 2016 12:57 pm
Greetings!
On June 21 I was walking my Rain Garden to see if any insects were taking advantage of the blooming plants when I noticed a “blue” Dragonfly on top a stick I was using to mark a plant I had moved. Seems most of the dragonflies I see perch atop sticks or posts or at the end of branches. I’ve likened that behavior to “sunning” as I’ve seen butterflies do. The dragonfly might fly around a bit, but usually returns to the same perch, perhaps in a slightly different position.
This particular Dragonfly on that particular day landed horizontally atop the stick, then slowly raised its entire abdomen to a near vertical position (see photo). After a moment or two it flew around and then came back to the same stick and repeated the behavior. Fascinating!
If I were to guess, I’d say it was a mating call, probably with pheromones to cast on the breeze and disperse with fluttering. Male or female, I’d guess male. But that last photo reveals a groove along the abdomen which I hear in butterflies indicates females. So I’m uncertain as to what I photographed; still fascinated, but also uncertain. I’m hoping you can set me straight.
Nature is absolutely amazing when one takes the time to observe! Not just glance, but actually look and observe.
Thanks so much!
Signature: Wanda J. Kothlow

Blue Dasher

Blue Dasher

Hi Again Wanda,
Based on this BugGuide image, we are quite confident this lovely blue Dragonfly with red eyes is a “tween” male Blue Dasher,
Pachydiplax longipennis.  According to BugGuide, as they begin to mature, “tween” males are described:  ” they mature the abdomen becomes blue except for yellow that remains on the sides of the first few abdominal segments and the black tip on the end of the abdomen. The eyes at this stage are still juvenile red/grey.”  Now regarding the posture you observed, we found this comment by Ron Hemberger on a BugGuide posting:  “When it’s hot, dragons can be seen in an obelisking posture, with rear end elevated and, that way, less area exposed to the sun. The ones I’ve seen do this – different species than yours – typically have a bit of curl to the body, so the thorax is almost level with the ground while the abdomen heads upwards.”

Blue Dasher

Blue Dasher

Well now, this goes to show ya what little I know. I never would have thought the “obelisking” of the dragonfly was for thermoregulation! And here I was being all “scientific” and romantic and thinking of baby dragonflies in the making. I can certainly and honestly say I learned something new today!
Thanks, y’all!
Wanda

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Twelve spotted Skimmer?
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
July 12, 2016 10:10 pm
Saved this bug from the neighbor’s little dog who was trying to figure out if it was edible. Pics were taken mid-May in Mount Pleasant, SC approx. 3 mi. from the Atlantic shore. I think this is a female twelve spotted skimmer, but coloration of lateral line on abdomen (orange, not yellow) and thin size of the body makes me wonder. What do you think?
Signature: Wormkat

Dragonfly

Prince Baskettail

Dear Wormkat,
The only Dragonflies that we know of that have twelve spots on the wings are the Twelve Spotted Skimmer, which is pictured on BugGuide, and the Female Whitetail, which is also pictured on Bugguide, and though the wings on your individual looks similar to both, the body is quite different.  Perhaps one of our readers with more experience identifying Dragonflies will be able to assist in this identification.

Dragonfly

Prince Baskettail

Update:  July 14, 2016
We would like to send out a special thanks to Michael Davis, Cesar Crash and Susan B., all of whom commented and led us to the correct identification of this Prince Baskettail,
Epitheca princeps.  According to BugGuide:  “Flies constantly. Wing pattern resembles that of some skimmer, but narrow body shape is distinctive. Wings held in a slight dihedral (V) while flying.”

Thank you for the response.  I am an ecologist with a special focus on aquatic species and this one threw me for a loop… ( in my own back yard!)  Any help figuring out what this little guy is would be fantastic, I hate not knowing!!!  Thanks a million in advance and BUG ON!!!
Best Regards,
Steve Walker
Ecologist

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dragonflies
Location: Faribault County, Minnesota
July 13, 2016 12:42 pm
Greetings!
After a season away from my rain garden due to heart surgery (I received a “heart pump” and am on the transplant list), I finally returned to my garden this Spring 2016. I was so excited, just like a kid waiting for Christmas which, of course, means my plants weren’t blooming quickly enough and the insects weren’t returning soon enough.
Our native bees have slowly been awakening/returning, as have a few wasps and flies. The grasshoppers have hatched so they will be growing, and I have an abundant crop of Milkweed Bugs which does not thrill me. As I weed and come across their larvae I dispatch a few and return them to the dirt. Seems to be quite the year for Earwigs, too.
For butterflies I’ve seen an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, some Red Admirals, a Common Buckeye (a first for me), a Monarch, a beat up Great Spangled Fritillary (wing edges shredded) and several Sulphurs. I keep thinking they are all late, but we had an “early” Spring so my rhythm is off and I’m further along in the season than the insects.
I’m including three photos I took in early June of Dragonflies: two are differing angles of a “spotted body” spotted wing dragonfly, and the other is amber/honey colored. I do not know the varieties of dragonflies, though could probably tell a damselfly from a dragonfly. Can you further educate me?
Thanks so much!
Signature: Wanda J. Kothlow

Female Whitetail

Female Whitetail

Dear Wanda,
We are sorry to hear about your health problems and we hope things turn out well.  It is nice to hear you are enjoying your rain garden.  The spotted Dragonfly is a female Whitetail,
Plathemis lydia, which we identified thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Females have a short, stout abdomen with several oblique dorsolateral white or pale yellow markings against a brown ground color; each wing has three black evenly-spaced blotches.”  We have several images of male Common Whitetails in our archives, but your image is the first female we have identified.  We will attempt to identify the other Dragonfly you submitted.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Wow, Daniel.
I actually submitted something y’all didn’t have in your archives! How cool is that?!
Glad I contributed to such an awesome, informative and educational endeavor you and your volunteers have going there.
As I see it, we all have health problems of some sort, whether we acknowledge them or not. I fully expect to be on the list for a donor heart for three years or more. So long as this heart pump (technical term is LVAD) keeps working, I’ll be okay. My goal following surgery for the pump was to get back to my gardening and photographing nature doing her thing in my little corner of this great big world. I’m only 53 so I have oodles of things I still want to do. No bucket list or grand plans to travel the world (I’d make a terrible traveler with my vertigo and motion sickness). Just simple things, like tending my rain garden, keeping a photo journal of the things I see here and at Mom’s (she has 24 birdfeeders and is a Certified Wildlife Habitat through NWF), create photo cards for Mom to send, that kind of thing. I’m also planning to make some educational photo albums for the Community Room here at the apartments so the residents can see photos of what I see in the garden and if I include some information about what the photo is depicting, they might learn a few things they did not already know. I just can’t keep the learning and education to myself!
I am beginning to think I’m a closet naturalist, except I don’t draw in a notebook, I use my camera instead. And then I share what I observe with others after reading and learning more!
Keep up the good buzzing, humming, and fluttering!
Blessings,
Wanda

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Gray bug came out of water
Location: Cumberland county nj
July 11, 2016 3:47 am
My husband had his feet in the river and this grayish bug climbed onto his leg, not sure if it fell in the river and was trying to get out or if it lives in water. Can’t find this bug in any of the books I have or on the internet
Signature: Anyway

Dragonfly Naiad

Dragonfly Naiad

Dear Anyway,
This is the aquatic larva of Naiad of a Dragonfly.  Dragonfly larvae are aquatic predators and when they are nearing maturity, they climb up onto plants growing out of the water, dock pylons or other vertical surfaces protruding from the water so that they can molt and emerge as winged adults.  Your husbands leg presented the perfect surface to accomplish this metamorphosis.  Your Naiad looks like the images on TroutNut that are identified as being in the family Gomphidae.  According to BugGuide, members of the family Gomphidae are known as Clubtails. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: never seen a bug like this
Location: KC Missouri
July 8, 2016 5:25 pm
I live in the Midwest KC Missouri to be exact, saw this bug in my driveway.
Signature: Levi

Saddlebags Dragonfly

Saddlebags Dragonfly

Dear Levi,
This is a Dragonfly, and its wing pattern indicates that it is one of the Saddlebags or Dancing Gliders in the genus
Tramea, but it appears to have met an untimely end as it has a missing abdomen.  Some predator, perhaps a bird, ate the soft part of the body and left the harder wings, legs and head.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination