Saturday, July 4, 2015

Prince Baskettail

Scott King alerted me to the presence of Prince Baskettails at Carleton College’s Lyman Lakes. After one unsuccessful search, I found these two, a male and a female I think, near the bridge separating the two lakes. The dragonflies’ presence here was curious, since Barn Swallows, with a definite appetite for dragonflies, bred under the bridge. The swallow ate an Eastern Forktail perched nearby.

These baskettails never perched, but returned repeatedly to the water along the bridge. Indeed, Prince Baskettails may seldom land—spending most of the day in flight (Mead 2009). They fly under six feet above the water, and, when they do land, it is often in tree tops (Paulson 2011). Paulson also warns that Prince Baskettails, which range across eastern North America,  are much more heavily spotted on the wings in the south and may be a distinct species.

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