Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cherry-faced Meadowhawk

Scott King writes that this meadowhawk is “one of the troublesome three.” Cherry-faced, Ruby, and White-faced meadowhawks can be difficult, if not impossible, to identify in the field—especially the females. Scott continues that these three give “meadowhawks a bad name, at least by those who demand to identify every last thing down to species.” Mature males, however, like this one, are another matter, and can usually be identified. Note this Cherry-faced Meadowhawk's dark red face and reddish wing veins.

Cherry-faced Meadowlarks are common, early emerging dragonflies (from mid-June through September). Mead reports that these dragonflies will occasionally lay their eggs on dry, mowed lawns, apparently in hope that such habitat will be later filled with water (Mead). Erika and I found several of these meadowhawks in the prairie at the River Bend Nature Center near Faribault on 13 September 2013.

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