Monday, July 25, 2011

Band-winged Meadowhawk

The Band-winged Meadowhawk in the upper photo is in an "obelisk position."  On hot days, to avoid overheating, dragonflies raise their abdomens towards the sun, thereby reducing the amount of their body surface being struck by solar radiation.  
Band-winged Meadowhawks are a widespread species, found across the northern United States and parts of southern Canada, but common locally only near ideal habitat.  According to Mead (2003), the nymphs are outcompeted by other dragonfly nymphs and are also heavily predated by fish.  Band-winged nymphs, therefore, are not well known. The nymphs were the goal of Scott King's recent expedition to an area in Dakota County where he often finds Band-winged Meadowhawks.  As you can see in the middle photograph, Scott was successful in his hunt.  To confirm his identification, Scott later raised a few of these nymphs to adult dragonflies.
Knowing that Band-winged Meadowhawks are relatively uncommon, Erika and I were surprised to find a second individual in Rice County at the River Bend Nature Center near Faribault, Minnesota.  This meadowhawk is in the bottom photograph.

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