Saturday, July 23, 2016

Black-shouldered Spinyleg

Erika and I came face-to-face with this Black-shouldered Spinyleg on 2 July 2016 in the Carpenter Nature Center (Washington County, Minnesota). I have only seen this species once before, in nearby Afton State Park on 19 August 2011. Because of the broad, dark bands on the sides of the thorax, I was fairly confident in my identification. The dragonfly flew and landed several times, always facing towards us, before it flew into the woods. In fact, later this same day, we saw another spinyleg at the state park.

This spinyleg is an immature. They become more dusky as they age. The spines on the legs, for which this dragonfly is named, are barely visible in this photo. Minnesota is on the western edge of the Black-shouldered Spinyleg’s eastern North American range.

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