Monday, August 13, 2012

Orange Bluet

This pair of Orange Bluets steadfastly maintained their wheel position on the side of the dock at the public access area on the north shore of Circle Lake in Rice County Minnesota. You may recall that, in this position, the female fertilizes her eggs with the male's sperm, while the male grasps her by her hind neck to assure no other males attach to her and replace his sperm with their own.

Male Orange Bluets (the one on the left) are readily identifiable. DuBoisassures us that the "tiger-stripe coloration of the male is unique among damselflies" of the North Woods. Females are not so easy: they are not always orange, but can have blue, green, or yellow stripes. DuBois also mentions that this species emerges and is most abundant later in the summer than the other bluets. I found this pair on the afternoon of 11 August 2012. This species is known to prefer the late day, even into dusk. Midday censuses may miss this damselfly (Paulson).

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