Currently viewing the category: "Dragonflies and Damselflies"

Subject:  Dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Guapiles, Costa Rica
Date: 07/29/2018
Time: 01:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
Please help me to identify this 2 dragonflies.
How you want your letter signed:  Johannes


Dear Johannes,
These are not Dragonflies, but they are Damselflies from the suborder Zygoptera, and Dragonflies are in a different suborder but within the same order Odonata.  The Damselfly with the red markings looks like a 
Hetaerina sp. pictured on Costa Rican Dragonflies and Damselflies. and it looks like a Occisa Rubyspot from Belize we have in our archives. We are uncertain about your other individual.



Subject:  Dragonfly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Gold Canyon, Arizona
Date: 07/25/2018
Time: 09:48 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this damaged and dead dragonfly in my back yard this morning.  I’m having a difficult time identifying it.  Thank you!!
How you want your letter signed:  Lucy Lancaster

Female Mexican Amberwing, we believe

Dear Lucy,
Many Dragonflies exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, meaning males and females often look like entirely different species, and since male Dragonflies often are more colorful, they are most often found illustrating the species.  That said, we believe we have identified this mutilated corpse as a female Mexican Amberwing,
Perithemis intensa, thanks to images included on the Arizona Dragonflies site, but we would not rule out that it might be a female Eastern Amberwing, Perithemistenera, which is also pictured on Arizona Dragonflies.  Thanks for including the ruler for scale.  Of the Mexican Amberwing, BugGuide notes:  “Small, thorax and abdomen yellowish-brown and unmarked. Wing markings rather variable.”

Subject:  Help identify Hamish
Geographic location of the bug:  Priest Lake, Idaho
Date: 07/08/2018
Time: 08:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this big creepy crawly on one of the docks on the lake. We asked a few Park rangers and even they couldn’t tell us what he was. We’d love to know what kind of creature Hamish Armadeus Thompson III is.
How you want your letter signed:  Simpson Cousins

Dragonfly Naiad

Dear Simpson Cousins,
This is the aquatic larva of a Dragonfly known as a naiad.

Subject:  Wild Lookin Turtle Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Upstate NY
Date: 07/03/2018
Time: 06:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Earlier this week (6/29) came across a bug that I have never seen before, and neither has anyone else that I have talked to!
I was on a beach by a lake in the Adirondacks, and in the sand I saw what I believed to be a very small turtle shell. Upon picking it up, I realized that it was not a turtle, but a large insect! It was about 1.5 inches long, the front 1/3 of the insect looked like a large ant or beetle , and the rear 2/3 looked exactly like the shell of a small turtle.
I did not have a camera or phone with me so I do not have a picture, and I have been unable to find anything close online.  I know that you have said that it is unlikely that you can ID the bug without a picture, but I just had to ask.  I attached a drawing if that is of any help.
Any ideas you have would be great, thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Chris

Drawing of a Dragonhunter, we believe

Dear Chris,
At first we thought your drawing resembled a Spider, sans a pair of legs, but your excellent written description, including finding it on the shore, leads us to believe this is a Dragonhunter naiad, the aquatic larva of the Dragonfly
Hagenius brevistylus.  It is thought that its shape causes it to look like a submerged leaf, helping it to capture prey.

Thanks for the quick response and great identification, that is exactly what I saw! I am super impressed with both your insect knowledge and amazing “customer service”!

Subject:  Very strange bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Wakulla River, Florida
Date: 06/28/2018
Time: 12:37 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug dead on the side of a river while kayaking. It was approximately 3 inches in length give take half an inch. Im not sure if it is some kind or beetle or spider missing legs. Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Trent Smith

Dragonhunter Naiad

Dear Trent,
This looks like a Dragonhunter Naiad, the larva of the Dragonfly,
Hagenius brevistylus.  We just received a drawing to identify and we believe it is also a Dragonhunter naiad.

Subject:  Bug found in water
Geographic location of the bug:  Choctaw Lake Ohio – man made lake
Date: 06/24/2018
Time: 03:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi. My grand daughter found this bug while playing in our beach area. It looks a little like a tadpole when i it swims, but, it has 6 legs like a bug. We  caught this bug in a bucket then realized it after we took the photos.  If you can tell us what kind of big this is, we would appreciate it.
How you want your letter signed:  Lori McKinley

Damselfly Naiad

Dear Lori,
This is a naiad, a general term for the aquatic larva of a flying insect.  More specifically it is a Damselfly naiadDamselflies are beneficial insects related to Dragonflies, and they are predatory in both the larval form and the winged adult.

Thank you, Daniel. I can’t wait to share this information with my granddaughter. I really appreciate you taking the time to research this. Thanks again.