Friday, November 13, 2015

Sprague Odes

Overlooking the town of Sprague, Washington, along I-90 is a rest area that is worth visiting. We stopped on 8 July this year. Ring-billed Gulls and Brewer’s Blackbirds stroll across the lawns. Western Kingbirds fly-catch from the trees. Several odonates caught our attention. With the help of Washington dragonfly expert Jim Williams, I was able to identify the following species. The first is a Vivd Dancer, a common western damselfly. Copulation takes place away from water, thus this waterless rest stop makes for an appropriate habitat.
I thought that this second ode was an Emma’s Dancer, but Jim assures me that it is an unidentifiable bluet. My belief that the purpish color on this individual would lead to easy identification proved to be illusionary.
The splayed out wings of this final ode definitely pointed to a spreadwing. Black dots on its undrside confirmed the species to be a Spotted Spreadwing. This damselfly is northern in distribution. It is often common and prefers stagnant, seasonal, and saline waters—exactly the predominant habitat in dry, western Washington.

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