Thursday, September 1, 2011

Black-shouldered Spinylegs

This dragonfly is found along rivers and streams in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. On 19 August 2011, Erika and I found Black-shouldered Spinylegs on the bike path at Afton State Park on the bluffs above the St. Croix River. Spinylegs were among hundreds of dragonflies flying above the prairie where we found the Henslow's Sparrow, of which I recently blogged. 

Back-shouldered Spinylegs get their name from large spines, not visible in these photos, on their legs.  The spines are used in prey capture. The species is shiny yellow as young adults, but later becomes dusky, as in the lower photograph.

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