Friday, October 17, 2014

Band-winged Meadowhawk

Until about 2000, dragonfly experts considered eastern and western populations of Band-winged Meadowhawks to be separate species. These meadowhawks tend to have pale wing bands in the east, much like in the first photo of a Band-winged Meadowhawk in the Carleton College Arboretum on 24 August 2013. Western populations tend to have much darker bands, at least at the outer edges of the wings. The middle photo was taken last July at Potholes State Park just south of Moses Lake, Washington.
The problem is that Band-winged Meadowhawks in our area of Minnesota tend to be intermediate between the eastern and western populations and lot of variation exists, even within different populations. Notice the dark outer regions of this last Band-winged Meadowhawk from Erika’s garden on 8 July 2014. Recent genetic studies suggest that all Band-winged Meadowhawks constitute a wide-spread and variable species (Forbes 2009).

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