Friday, October 31, 2014

Pacific Forktail

On 21 July 2014 our family visited the Hand’s On Children’s Museum in Olympia, Washington. Who knew that I would need my telephoto lens? In the middle of the water lilies in a small, decorative pond flitted a Pacific Forktail, a new damselfly for my list. (Generally we were disappointed in the relatively low numbers of dragonflies observed during our western trip, and this was the last one we saw.)

I had to make do with my short lens, focusing through a glass window, and greatly enlarging the photo—never excellent strategies for producing stunning wildlife photos. At least I had a sunny day! Especially if you enlarge this image on your computer screen, you can see this species’ salient field marks. At least four pale blue spots grace the top of the thorax. No other forktail in the Pacific Northwest sports such spots (Paulson 2009). The urban habitat also fits well. Paulson writes, “in the Northwest, more likely to colonize backyard ponds than other damselflies.”

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