Here are a female and male Eastern Amberwing. The first is a female from the River Bend Nature Center here in Rice County. The second is a male form where Lake Hiawatha flows into Minnehaha Creek in Hennepin County.
Entomologists believe these small dragonflies are bee mimics. A quick look at them may dissuade predators from attacking. Denis Paulson wrote that this species is “sufficiently wasplike to fool an odonate enthusiast and presumably an insect-eating bird.” Amberwings are extremely terrtiorial. They team up to attack other males, thereby protecting nearby females. They even attack other insects of similar size and color, perhaps even they can’t tell each other from wasps (Paulson).