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

What kind of bug is this
Location:  Southwest Iowa
July 26, 2010 8:23 pm
I live in Southwest Iowa and found this ”bug” on my deck tonight. Just wondering if anyone can identify it…never seen anything like it my life. It has four long, clear wings (2 on each side) with a brown spot on the tip of each that can barely be seen on the pictures. I would appreciate any input on this bug. Thank you very much
Dana Fae

Black Saddlebags with missing abdomen

Dear Dana Fae,
Something, perhaps an insectivorous bird, has preyed upon this Black Saddlebags Dragonfly and eaten the tasty abdomen, leaving behind the mostly inedible wings, legs and head.  You can see photos of intact Black Saddlebags,
Tramea lacerata, on bugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Aquatic type Insect
July 17, 2010
Location:  East Texas
This ”bug” was found after draing my pool and letting the leftover water sit for about 2 weeks. At first glance I thought they were small growing crayfish somehow in my pool. there is very minimal amount of water actually left in the pool and there are possibly 100’s of these creatures. I have found a few eating and dragging around some of the parts of dead ones. They seem to have just two eyes and six legs. Also it seems they have a very short set of wings that moves only half way to their back. They are a sand color with solid white bellies. Size ranges from about a small roach up to a locust, about half the length of a pinky finger. Please help me identify the insects or bugs
Joshua B

Dragonfly Larva

Hi Joshua,
Your insects are Dragonfly Larvae and they are predatory.  If there is no other prey, they will prey upon one another.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug Love – Mating Damselflies
July 3, 2010
Got a nice photo of these mating Southern Spreadwings (Lestes australis) while floating down the Guadalupe River outside of Boerne, Texas, in early June. Just thought we’d share. Enjoy!
Melvis & Laugh
Kendall County, TX

Mating Dusky Dancers

Hi again Melvis & Laugh,
We are more than happy to post your photo of Southern Spreadwings embracing, but if we want to be totally accurate, they are not yet mating.  The male has grasped the female using his anal claspers, but the female has not yet assumed the mating wheel or heart position by curling her abdomen around to accept the male sperm.

August 16, 2010
We just received a comment identifying this pair as Dusky Dancers, and the images
on BugGuide support that correction.  This description on BugGuide also indicates the correction is accurate: “Very dark, male is black with blue rings on abdomen. Eyes violet

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mating red Meadowhawks
June 26, 2010
Hi there, hoping you might be able to help me get a positive ID on these Meadowhawks. Pics taken in early October 2006 on a boardwalk railing in a wetlands park. I’m thinking the series of pics really belongs in a sort of Kama Sutra book for Dragonflies… or perhaps at least one in your Bug Love section! But seriously, they are so beautiful I wanted to share them, and I like to properly label my photos so ID help is appreciated. I have another super crisp shot of a single one just sunning on the rail,showing great detail of the fascinating complexity going on where the wings hook onto the body, but you only have room for 3 pics here. If you are interested in the other, let me know, I’ll send it on.
Cheers, Dee
Totem Lake, Kirkland, Washington State

Mating Meadowhawks

Hi Dee,
We agree that these mating Dragonflies are Meadowhawks in the genus Sympetrum, but Dragonfly identification often challenges our abilities.  The Red Veined Meadowhawk, Sympetrum madidum, does range in your area, but alas, the BugGuide information page provides no information.  The wing patches on your dragonflies, both male and female, are red, and the patches on the photos of the Red-Veined Meadowhawks on BugGuide all have black patches.  We favor the Cardinal Meadowhawk, Sympetrum illotum, but again BugGuide does not include information.  Seems we are not alone in our difficulty ascertaining the correct identification of Dragonflies.  BugGuide also has a page devoted to red adult Meadowhawks, but it has no information except a link to a forum page.  On the Forum Page, Cliff provides the following comment:  “
Sympetrum identification  I have seen a number of photos of Sympetrum (Odonata: Libellulidae) in the ID Request section, such as this one:  which have been identified as S. rubicundulum or S. internum by people referencing the guide pages for those species. I checked out the guide pages, and found a number of images of these species, apparently identified by photograph alone. I am not an expert, but the literature I have found and people I have talked to indicate that these and several other species (S. janae, most S. obtrusum) are not identifiable without close examination of genital appendages under a microscope. Perhaps we could have some sort of a disclaimer on the guide pages (maybe there is one I missed?) explaining the difficulty of Sympetrum identification, or include a “Sympetrum rubicundulum complex” or “Kalosympetrum sp.” page for specimens that cannot be assigned to species reliably. … …..Cliff“.  So Dee, we may not be able to provide a conclusive species identification.

Mating Meadowhawks

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Possibly California darner?
June 24, 2010
Took this photo 22 June, late morning, in my backyard near Edmonds, WA. Large dragonfly was clinging to unripe blueberries for quite awhile, cooperated as I took several photos (have attached the best one). After I stepped away it suddenly took off and I enjoyed watching for several minutes as it looped and dove in roughly repeated patterns around that end of yard, many times passing within a foot or so of me. It made passes everytime it saw an insect, large or small (while I cheered — I have an organic garden and need all the help I can get), altho I never saw it catch anything. Perhaps some were too small for me to see. It seems similar to pictures I’ve seen of dragonflies in the Darner family…I looked in Bug Guide and California darner (Rhionaeschna californ ica) was the closest, with brownish eyes, but would like confirmation, if possible. I recently sent the probable ID on the sea cucumber (echinoderm). It was nice to be helping instead of asking, for a change! Love your site and bugID service, have turned my NatureGeek friends on to it!
Sincerely, Dee
Edmonds, Washington State

California Darner

Hi Dee,
Thanks for the Sea Cucumber assistance.  We believe you are correct that this lovely dragonfly is a California Darner, Rhionaeschna californica, based on images posted to BugGuide.  Thank you for your very informational letter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly
June 24, 2010
Hi Daniel, I ran across this handsome fellow beside a country road about three weeks ago. I know you have several photos of these already on your website. When I was a kid everyone in this area called them “snake doctors” (I always walked very wary when I saw one for fear a snake was around) They are so beautiful I wanted to share it, but with all of the images you have already you may not want to use the webspace. It appears this is a male since he doesn’t have a white spot on his wing tips. Thanks and have a wonderful day..
North Middle Tennessee

Ebony Jewelwing

Hi again Richard,
What a lovely photo of a lovely Ebony Jewelwing.  We saw several in Mill Creek Park during our recent visit to our hometown in Ohio.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination