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

Mating Ebony Jewelwings in CT
Location: Ridgefield, CT
September 25, 2011 10:20 am
How gorgeous are these Jewelwings??
I did not know before seeing this pair and doing a little searching at WTB that these are the male and female, even with the different looks.
What beautiful colors.
Signature: Hellywell

Mating Ebony Jewelwings

Dear Hellywell,
Thanks so much for sending us your wonderful photos of the sexually dimorphic Ebony Jewelwings, 
Calopteryx maculata, in the act of assuming the mating position.  The complete “wheel” position has not yet been achieved.  The male has the metallic body and the black wings.  The female has gray wings with a white spot at the tip.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Prehistoric leaf bug?
Location: central Wisconsin
September 21, 2011 10:09 pm
This year for school, we are doing an insect project, where you have to find 25 bugs and give its common name, genus, and species. We found this bug in a lake in Wisconsin. I can’t seem to find the name of it. Please help! It’s due Monday!
Signature: From Anna

Dragon Hunter

Hi Anna,
Normally we refrain from answering homework assignment requests that require the student do research.  We will not provide you with all the information you requested, but we will tell you the order is Odonata and that this is the aquatic nymph of a species of Dragonfly.  Armed with that information, you should be able to research the species since this naiad is so distinctive looking.
In the event our readership is curious, this is the naiad of a Dragon Hunter,
Hagenius brevistylus, and additional information is available on BugGuide.

Thank you so much! My partner and I really appreciate it. We spend hours trying to find it. I don’t think anyone else will have this bug! :)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

My Mosquito Project
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
September 15, 2011 10:47 pm
Hey Bugman,
As we share a love for bugs and everything creepy crawly, I figured I’d share some of the photos I’ve taken during my Mosquito growing project. Our pool had become like a pond, and there were 1000’s of mosquito larvae swimming about. After learning about their process, I became so interested, I wanted to watch the whole thing, so I scooped some up, along with some algae and other things for them to eat in a jar and am having a LOT of fun watching this. I lost 90% of them when the cold snap hit, but the ones I have left are troopers and I actually have a few eggs left and a new one just hatched today, so here’s hoping 😉
Signature: Amanda Gorman

Mosquito Larvae

Hi Amanda,
Thanks so much for sending us your photos.  Do you release the adults?  Are you feeding the adults warm blood?  We are positively intrigued by your Mosquito Project, but we cannot imagine your neighbors are terribly amused.

Mosquito Pupa

Hey Daniel,
I’m glad you guys liked my pictures. I’m actually not doing anything SPECIAL with the mosquito larvae. I had so much fun watching them in the pool, so I learned about them. Then, once I learned about the process, I wanted to watch the whole thing, so I literally just rinsed out a jar and scooped water out of the pool and those were the lives I got. Mostly larvae, a few pupae, and some eggs!!! I put fresh plant life in the jar to create oxygen, and I add a fresh leaf here and there for fresh oxygen. BUT I scooped out a wad of algae from the bottom of the pool so they had a good start on food, and then the jar sits in the sun, so it grows new algae every day. On cloudy days, I add just a little algae from the pool. As far as adults, like I said, it’s just a jar outside, so I’m just letting nature take it’s course. They will fly away when they are ready. I started this last Sunday and at the time between pupae, larvae, and newly hatched eggs (NEARLY microscopic) I had roughly 50 specimens. Then Tuesday morning we started our cold snap here in MI and I lost 80% of them. It seemed I had 9 strong ones that were troopers. 5 full grown larvae, 2 juvenile larvae from Monday, a TINY larvae that had JUST hatched, and ONE pupa. HOWEVER, it was SUPER cold last night and I lost even MORE. I am down to 5 I think. My pupa is gone too, which sucks….but I have eggs, I just doubt they will hatch in this weather.  I sent you all an identification request about a bug that was living with the mosquito larvae in the pool and skitters along the bottom. When I put some fresh algae in today, i must have picked up two of these guys, b/c now I have THEM living in the jar as well, so I attached 2 pictures of this bug in addition to the one I attached to my original identification request. It’s driving me nuts that I cannot figure out what this creature is.
I am having a lot of health issues so I cannot work right now, so this has been an AMAZING occupation of my mind and time. If nothing else this “project” prolongs their life SOME b/c otherwise they would have just all gone when the water drains out and the pool gets vacuumed.
I apologize this response is so long, it’s just no one else I know likes bugs enough for me to tell all the details to, so I got kinda carried away! :) Thanks for what you guys do!!!

Dragonfly Larva

Hi again Amanda,
Thank you for supplying additional information on the scope of your Mosquito project.  The new insect you submitted is a predatory Dragonfly Naiad, and perhaps it is responsible to the losses in your Mosquito Larvae due to predation.

Thx so much!! It was driving me crazy I didnt know what this bug was. I attriibute a combo of the dragonfly naiad and the cold to losing my little wigglers, but such is the circle of life. Im def gonna do this EARLY next summer!!


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

unknown flying insect
Location: Fenton, Michigan
August 30, 2011 12:20 pm
We found this in our yard in Fenton, Michigan and have no idea what it is. It looks like a dragonfly with a stinger. Can you help us identify it.
Signature: Rich Galley


Hi Rich,
Because of the patterns on their wings, Dragonflies in the genus
Tramea are known as Saddlebags.  You can read more about Saddlebags on BugGuide.  For the record, Dragonflies do not have stingers, but their appearance has lead to folklore and superstitions in countless locations worldwide that involve stitchery and bewitching. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Red Veined Darter
Location: Baldwin county Alabama
August 12, 2011 11:35 pm
I didn’t see a picture of a Red Veined Darter when looking through your dragonflies ( I didn’t go through them all, I admit) So I thought I would send this amazing picture my wife took with her iphone when it landed on mine.
Signature: South Alabama bug dude

Alleged Red Veined Darter is Needham's Skimmer

Dear South Alabama bug dude,
We hope your wife knows that you submitted her amazing photo to our website.  We recently grappled with a copyright situation because a photo from the Pennsylvania Wild website was submitted to us for identification purposes without the knowledge of the photo’s originator.  Once a digital photo enters the blogosphere, anything can happen.  Things go viral and there is internet piracy.  Imagery can be transformed and used for advertising purposes.  We cannot help but to wonder if in the very near future we will be teaching photography with a cellular telephone because the cameras are getting better and better and Apple is putting so many features onto the telephone that have nothing to do with making telephone calls.  We have concerns because your wife is obviously a creative individual and she has used a panoramic format and vignetting to add originality to her image.  We cannot say for certain that this is a Red Veined Darter.  We find Dragonfly identifications most challenging.  We are also going to include a cropped and flipped version of the Dragonfly with adjusted levels so that the identifying features of this Dragonfly are less obfuscated.  We cannot link to the Red Veined Darter on BugGuide because it is not represented there, and in our opinion, BugGuide is the best place to identify insects and spiders found in the United States and Canada.  A web search for Red Veined Darter produced a hit to a Dragonfly Site and a scientific name 
Sympetrum fonscolombii.  A web search of Sympetrum fonscolombii produced a hit to a UK site that lists it as a vagrant, but notes:  “”In Britain this species has been seen annually since 1995. Most have been migrants but breeding has been noted in a number of sites from Cornwall to Yorkshire.”  We believe you have not correctly identified your Dragonfly.  The not so credible Wikipedia has many photos of the Red Veined Darter, and none look like your Dragonfly.
We have now taken up a considerable portion of our allotted time this morning for responding to the web browsing public’s questions on what has become a non-identification.   We promised Elizabeth that we would write her a letter of recommendation  for the U.S. Student Fulbright Program so that she can do a photography project in Russia.  Also the fifteen year old Chinese elm bonsaii grove we have nurtured from seedlings has some species of Scale Insect that are being tended by the dreaded Argentine Ants and we really need to take a toothbrush to it and repot it.  We also need to work on a presentation to the Greater Cypress Park Neighborhood Council to request funding to help control the Tree of Heaven population in Elyria Canyon Park.  Sometimes our editorial staff has obligations (or recreational desires) that have nothing to do with the web browsing public’s insect identification questions and today, those things need to be a priority.

Alleged Red Veined Darter is Needham's Skimmer


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Eight Spotted Skimmer in the Hood
Location: Portland, Oregon
August 9, 2011 3:04 pm
Fantastic site, thank you for your labor of love!
My good friend and top sleuther, Davey identified this as an eight-spotted skimmer. I took this photo 8/7/11 on my patio in Portland, OR. I live right in the city, within two miles of the Mt. Tabor reservoir, so woods and water are nearby. This guy (or lady?) didn’t flinch at all even with my camera up in its face. It merely turned its head and smiled.
Signature: Vicki B.

Eight Spotted Skimmer

Hi Vicki,
Thank you for sending in your photo of an Eight Spotted Skimmer,
Libellula forensis, a species that is so distinctive it is unlikely to be confused with other Dragonflies, which we often have difficulty identifying.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination