a flying bug of some kind
Location: tacoma, washington, USA
January 21, 2011 6:06 pm
hi bugman, i have a photo of a bug that i have tentatively identified as Plathemis lydia or possibly Libellula pulchella but i’m not sure. i see a lot of blue-eyed darners around, but this is a new one that i’ve not seen before.
We agree with your first choice, Plathemis lydia, the Common Whitetail. 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. ‘tween’ males have abdomens that are beginning to turn blue, but the adolescent body pattern still shows through the blue. 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.“ Because of the pictures and descriptions on BugGuide, we would say you have photographed an immature male Common Whitetail.
Correction from a Comment
This is a mature male Libellula pulchella. Twelve-spotted skimmer. 3 dark spots with 2 white patches between is a positive id.