Currently viewing the category: "Dragonflies and Damselflies"
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Ebony Jewelwing
July 20, 2009
Hi there,
Love your site. My kids are budding entomologists and we spend our summers finding bugs all day. This one was so pretty I thought i’d send you the picture. Looked it up on your site to find out – i’m pretty sure – an ebony jewelwing damselfly. The photo doesn’t do the colors justice – it was so metallic and bright. Very cool bug.
The Franke family
Cincinnati, OH

Ebony Jewelwing

Ebony Jewelwing

Dear Franke family,
Thanks for submitting your photo of an Ebony Jewelwing, Calopteryx maculata, one of the Damselflies.  The hand provides a nice sense of scale.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large Aquatic Bug (?) Found in the Ozarks, Does NOT Appear to be a Toe Biter
July 18, 2009
The picture that I have included is horrible, but it was gone so quickly we couldn’t snap a good picture, however, the outline is there. It was a large aquatic insect about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Round body shape. Posterior is actually scalloped, blurred in picture. There small head with two short stubby protrusions. From what we could tell there were two very long arms that It could grab and swim with. (It held on to the tip of my fishing pole with these two arms. In the picture they are seen at it’s sides) It was a light brown color with some slight pattern on it’s back. It was found in about 3 foot of water in a slow moving section of a creek near Branson, Missouri. It was very round and from what I can tell from giant water bugs, they are much m ore oval or elliptical in shape. Hope this is helpful, I am very interested in knowing what this neat little guy is!
Thank you, Jamie
Ozarks Missouri, Bull Creek, arm of Table Rock Lake

Dragonhunter Naiad

Dragonhunter Naiad

Dear Jamie,
Though your photo is sorely lacking in the type of details that generally make an identification possible, the outline of the Naiad of the Dragonhunter, Hagenius brevistylus
, a type of Dragonfly, is quite distinctive.  We feel confident that you have seen a Dragonhunter Naiad and you can see a detailed photo on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

green dragonfly
July 8, 2009
I have a photo of a light emerld green dragonfly with a green and brn. tail. Clear wings, brn eyes. What’s that bug?
tsinche
Mpls. MN

Eastern Pondhawk

Eastern Pondhawk

Dear tsinche,
Your dragonfly looks like an Eastern Pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis, to us.  BugGuide has a comprehensive set of images on this species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

green bug from aquarium
June 3, 2009
found this bug swimming in my aquarium (oteh residents are pimelodus pictus (4), Chromobotia macracanthus (3), Ancistrus dolichopterus (2). i’m feeding my fish with sera mix chips and live bloodworms larve. it’s app. 1 inch in lenght, swimming by moving it’s body left and right.
help
Ljubljana, Slovenia, Europe

Damselfly Naiad

Damselfly Naiad

Dear In need of Help,
This is a Damselfly Naiad, the larval form of a winged insect similar to a Dragonfly.  Damselfly Naiads are predators, but they cannot handle adult fish.  Hatchlings and small fry might get eaten.  We suspect this Damselfly Naiad was introduced with the live Bloodworms.  We have been feeding our Angelfish live Mosquito Larvae we catch in the birdbath and in various places we keep water in the yard.  We suspect we have introduced a predator that ate some of our fry.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mating Damselflies
Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 7:39 PM
Do you really need an explanation? :)
ET
Columbia, MD

Ebony Jewelwings Mating

Ebony Jewelwings Mating

Dear ET,
Your photo of mating Ebony Jewelwings, Calopteryx maculata, is gorgeous, and we thought our readers would probably like additional information.  The male has the darker wings and the female has the white spot on the wings.  BugGuide has additional information on this eastern North American species, including “Not a strong flier: adults flutter, butterfly-like, a short distance when disturbed. They are easy to get close to as long as you approach slowly and don’t make any sudden movements. Ebony Jewelwings prefer sunny spots in the woods but usually perch only a minute or two before flitting to another nearby spot.”  BugGuide has sadly shied away from discussing the sexual behavior of the species.  We decided to try to include some of that and located a German site that explained  “The male sex organ is located at the front part of the abdomen. Damselflies commonly fly in pairs during mating. Damselfly adults use their hind legs, which are covered with hairs to capture prey as they fly. They hold the prey in their legs and devour it by chewing. Adults are usually found flying near plants, usually in irrigated rice fields during the daytime throughout the year. The damselfly’s mating pattern is unusual. The male deposits sperm by bending the abdomen forward and then clasping the female behind the head with its claspers on the tip of his abdomen. The female then loops her abdomen forward and picks up the sperm from the male. The mating pairs are seen flying and clinging in tandem. ”  And finally, just to shake things up a bit, we located a National Geographic online article entitled Damselfly Mating Game Turns Some Males Gay by James Owen. Owen writes:  “Disguises used by female damselflies to avoid unwanted sexual advances can cause males to seek out their own sex, a new study suggests. Belgian researchers investigated why male damselflies often try to mate with each other. The scientists say the reason could lie with females that adopt a range of appearances to throw potential mates off their scent. In an evolutionary battle of the sexes, males become attracted to a range of different looks, with some actually preferring a more masculine appearance. ”  Later in the article, this is nicely explained.  Owen continues with the following conclusions of the Belgian team:  “Van Gossum, the study author, says most researchers agree such polymorphism most likely results from sexual conflict, with females evolving traits to avoid excessive harassment. While plenty of sex might suit male damselflies, this isn’t the case for females. Joan Roughgarden is a professor of biological sciences at Stanford University in California. She writes, ‘Copulation ranges from over one hour to over six hours, averaging three hours. While a long copulation might seem like great fun, this can waste a whole day and be too much of a good thing, especially if carried out day after day over a life span that is only a few days long.  Roughgarden adds that female damselflies collect all the sperm they need to reproduce from a single mating.”  Some of our readers will be comforted to know that the image that you submitted depicts a traditional male/female coupling.

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Black “Fly” ???
Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 11:46 AM
Hey Dan,
Are you familiar with these ‘flies’ ???
Sorry about the quality of the photo, the foc us is a little off.
Thanks,
Ferd

Ebony Jewelwing

Ebony Jewelwing

Hi Ferd,
This little beauty is a species of Damselfly known as a Ebony Jewelwing, Calopteryx maculata. The white spots at the tips of the wings indicate that this is a female. You can see more photos on Bugguide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination