Friday, September 19, 2014

Variegated Meadowhawk

Last Sunday at the Valley Grove Prairie in nearby Rice County, Minnesota, the air was full of dragonflies—mostly Common Green Darners, but also Variegated Meadowhawks like this one. I was struck by its beauty and that it looked different from others I have seen—the blue thoracic stripe seemed unique.

I was confident of my identification (for once), because of the blue-gray “portholes” along the sides of the abdomen. Scott King assures me that this stripe is the mark of a young male, and that the blue will fade, leaving only the yellow spot at the bottom of the stripe. In April 2012, I posted a photograph of an adult male and in September 2011 I explained why one tends to see immature Variegated Meadowhawks in the fall, but adults in the spring.

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