Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Eastern Forktail

On 7 May, I encountered this damselfly on a path along the Minnesota River Valley National Wildlife Refuge’s Bass Ponds. In the field, I identified it as an Eastern Forktail, one of the most abundant forktails in most of its range. Back home, I was less sure.  With its chestnut thoracic stripe and pale, emerald tail, I could not find anything quite like it in my guides. My ode guru, Scott King, confirmed my initial identification—this young female is acquiring the blue pruinosity of an adult. I have posted an entry showing photos of both young and old individuals.

Damselflies sure can be frustrating to identify. You can have males, young females, old females, and andromorphs—females that look like males. How is a fellow supposed to remember all that?

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