Sunday, December 20, 2015

Western Red Damsel

Western Red Damsels are easy to identify. They are common, but often overlooked. They stay close to the ground in dense vegetation near ponds, ditches, slow moving creeks and adjacent meadows (PaulsonKerst and Gordon). This habitat is precisely where Erika and I found this damsel. On our way home from our August trip, we once again stopped at the Montana, I-90 public fishing area near Three Forks. I was unable to relocate this damselfly after it flew.

Entomologists argue about Western and Eastern Red Damsels. As one travels east of the Rockies, these damsels become more slender and smaller, with longer abdomens. I have seen one near Northfield, in Minnesota, which I identified as the Eastern species. My understanding is that recent genetic work suggests our Minnesota populations are actually better considered to be Western Red Damsels.

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