Currently viewing the category: "Dragonflies and Damselflies"

Subject:  Gorgeous red dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Albany Pine Bush, Albany, NY
Date: 06/10/2021
Time: 08:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Susan B. here with yet another dispatch from the Albany Pine Bush! Karner Blue season is ending, but I’m looking forward to more of them in July. Meanwhile I discovered a great wetland area with several ponds, and numerous dragonflies zipping about and skimming over the water. There were quite a few familiar species, but also a few of these dragonflies that I’m not sure about. Finally one landed on a nearby twig and let me get some photos.
I thought they were Red Saddlebags dragonflies at first, but when I got home I realized there doesn’t seem to be a record of Red Saddlebags in my area on iNaturalist, and the photos I found seem to have more light brown on them. For the record, the dragonfly is a bit more vivid and red than it appears in the photo–it’s in silhouette.
For what it’s worth, there were several Black Saddlebags dragonflies flying around as well, and the two or three of this species were similar in size, shape, and behavior, but much more vivid red.
Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Susan B.

Red Saddlebags

Dear Susan,
Just because there is no record of a Red Saddlebags,
Tramea onusta, on iNaturalist does not mean they are not present in Albany.  We believe based on this and other images on BugGuide that your initial impulse is correct and that this is a Red Saddlebags, though BugGuide does not include any New York sightings, but BugGuide does indicate the range is:  “Eastern half of US .”  Insect Identification does include New York sightings.

Subject:  You’re back!!!
Geographic location of the bug:  Jacksonville, Florida
Date: 04/08/2021
Time: 04:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m so glad you’re back online!  You/your website has brought a lot of joy to me and my family over the years.  I’ve really missed seeing the new ID requests and learning about so many insects.  Hope you and yours are all doing well.  Here’s a nice local dragonfly (Jax, FL) since I have to upload an image for you to get this message.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike

Great Blue Skimmer

Dear Mike,
Thank you so much for your kind words.  Daniel is committed to posting again on a regular basis, however he no longer wants to post images of things people pull from their noses, or out of focus images of spiders they squash.  We really want to concentrate on posting letters that share our own wonder with the world of things that crawl.  We want to stimulate peoples’ appreciation with the natural world and to calm their fear of things they don’t understand.  That said, your image of what we believe to be a male Great Blue Skimmer, based on this BugGuide image, is a marvelous addition to our archives.

Subject:  Dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Huff Lake, Bonner County, Idaho, USA
Date: 09/07/2019
Time: 01:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dragonfly cruising marsh shore of Huff Lake in north Idaho. Apparently mating. Can you identify it from the images?
How you want your letter signed:  Sailortom

Mosaic Darners in mating position

Dear Sailortom,
We believe these are Mosaic Darners in the genus
Aeshna which is represented on BugGuide.  Several similar looking species are found in Idaho, and we do not feel confident providing a species identification.  Though you indicate they were “cruising marsh shore” they do not appear alive in your images.

Mosaic Darner

Thank’s. I am happy with the generic ID. The images are of living Darners. They perched on a dock long enough for pictures. Then they linked up, I assume to mate.

Subject:  Bugs rescued from pool
Geographic location of the bug:  Huntsville, AL
Date: 08/21/2019
Time: 02:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found several of these swimming around in our pool.  They are obviously water bugs if some variety, but my guess is they are immature, making them harder to identify.  Any clues to what they might grow up to be?
How you want your letter signed:  Brown family

Dragonfly Naiads

Dear Brown family,
These are Dragonfly Naiads, the aquatic larval stage.  If they are allowed to grow in your pool, you will have adult flying Dragonflies after their final metamorphosis.

Dragonfly Naiad

Subject:  Unknown Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Stormville NY
Date: 06/22/2019
Time: 03:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I found this bug on my sidewalk it had four legs and each of the legs has black squares hanging off each leg. It could fly. It’s body was white but the wings were black. I have never seen an insect such as this one and was really curious as to what it could possibly be.
How you want your letter signed”  Simran Kumar

Common Whitetail

Dear Simran,
Despite the blurriness of your image, the distinctive markings of the male Common Whitetail Dragonfly are unmistakable.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison. What you have mistaken for four legs are actually four wings.  The legs of the Dragonflies are useless for walking.  The Dragonfly uses its legs to perch, to land, to catch food by creating a basket and to hold onto its mate.  The Dragonfly is capable of amazing feats while flying.

Subject:  Water bugs
Geographic location of the bug:  Arkansas
Date: 05/25/2019
Time: 10:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was out cleaning the pool because it hasn’t been cleaned since we moved in and I saw some weird looking bugs. I’ve never seen anything like them and I tried googling it but nothing showed up so you’re my last hope. I’m also very sorry that the pictures aren’t well lit but it’s all I have.
How you want your letter signed:  Chloe

Dragonfly Naiads

Dear Chloe,
These are the aquatic larvae of Dragonflies, commonly called naiads.  They are aquatic predators that will help to naturally control populations of Mosquitoes.