Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Common Whitetail Male

Since Saturday, Erika’s garden has been filling with Common Whitetails, Plathemis lydia. Females first appeared. Yesterday males, like this immature, showed up. As they matures, their abdomens will become bluish-white.

Who was Lydia? Dru Drury described this dragonfly in 1877. My best GUESS is Lydia Bowen, who was famous for coloring many of Audubon's plates, and was probably known by Drury. Lydia was sought after by many printers and artists of the day (Leach 2013). Do any of you know any better?

1 comment:

  1. Turns out that Plathemis lydia was described in 1773, so it was not named for Lydia Bowen. Paulson and Dunkle in A Checklist of North American Odonata say who Lydia was is unknown.