Friday, September 2, 2016

Blue Dasher Day

On 22 July 2016, Erika and I returned to the Lebanon Hills Regional Park. This year we first visited and were inundated with dragonflies. During the more recent visit, we found far fewer Odonata—except that we encountered dozens of Blue Dashers. Many were females. I am less familiar with the females than with the males. I took a long time before I identified this first photo as a female Blue Dasher. I have never seen one with such green eyes, or with green dorsal stripes.
Male Blue Dashers were present, like this one in the obelisk position. Dragonflies are said to raise their tails in this fashion to reduce their exposure to the blazing sun on hot days. And the weather was hot during our hike, over 90 degrees (32 Celsius)—and humid.
Perhaps dragonflies also obelisk for camouflage. I am fairly certain this third photo is also of a male. The fact that it looks like an extension of its perch probably hides the dasher from both prey and predators.
These final two Blue Dashers are more typical looking females (compared the the female in the first image. They are probably adults, while the first may be an immature. In any event, both Erika and I were impressed with their colorful eyes.

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