Subject: Dragonfly with unusual colors
Location: South Mississippi near the coast, Ocean Springs
July 23, 2015 9:15 pm
My daughter took this pic 07/23/15 in her backyard in Ocean Springs, MS. It appears the body is almost completely white, while the wings are transparent with these remarkable black parts. She reported it was dive-bombing the lawn mower while she was mowing the lawn. She also mentioned she has been seeing it, or identical ones, repeatedly for about 2 weeks now. BTW, the weather has been no rain and very hot and humid for weeks now, following our Memorial Day floods all around the southeast U.S.
I’m guessing this is a male “common whitetail”, or long-tailed skimmer, perhaps Plathemis lydia. Am I close?
Thank you, love this site!!!
Signature: Amateur Entomologist and fan of “What’s That Bug?”

Common Whitetail

Common Whitetail

Dear Amateur Entomologist,
Thanks so much for your enthusiastic praise.  We agree that based on images posted to BugGuide, this is a male Common Whitetail, and the scientific name is
Plathemis lydia.  In the future, you do not need to reduce the image size when you submit images as we can handle accepting large digital files.

I’ll be sure to send the full unmodified file next time, hopefully something more noteworthy.  BTW I just today got a slow fly-by from a healthy sized cicada killer wasp, first sighting of the season.  Bless them for helping dampen the racket we’re having right now.
Which reminds me, you kindly posted my item on 06/16/06:
but I noticed that your link to my goofy little movie was malformed and so it doesn’t work.  The file is still there on my server, the location is:
I thought it was unusual in that it showed the wasp returning to the exact same palm frond several times within about 15 secs.  I thought, protecting nest and/or mate probably.

My, you have been reading our site for a long time James.  We will correct the posting problems and post the new link to your video on the Cicada Killer page.  The behavior in the video is that of a male defending his territory.  Males will stake out good nesting places in the hope of attracting a mate and the males will buzz anything that enters the territory, but since only the females sting, the behavior of the male Cicada Killer poses no threat to humans.  Females which are capable of stinging are quite docile and we have yet to get a substantiated report of a person being stung by a Cicada Killer.

Location: Ocean Springs, Mississippi

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