Monday, September 16, 2013

Ruby Meadowhawk

During our search for Spotted Spreadwings on the St. Olaf Campus on Thursday, Scott King identified a second new dragonfly for me—this Ruby Meadowhawk. Of the red meadowhawks found in our area, several are difficult, sometimes impossible, to tell apart. The keys to identification here include the relatively dark mouth parts (unlike the white of the White-faced Meadowhawk or the red of the Cherry-faced Meadowhawk) and the relatively extensive amber color of the wings. Band-winged Meadowhawks’ bands are shorter and more distinct. This wing color occurs only in Iowa and Minnesota populations of Ruby Meadowhawks, and even here, is not always present. When present, the color makes identification somewhat easier. The bluish pruinescence on the underside of the abdomen indicates that this meadowhawk is a female.

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