Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Powdered Dancer

Last week, on 12 July 2016, Erika and I encountered hundreds of dancers along a trail in the Carpenter Nature Center in nearby Washington County. I first identified them as Blue-fronted Dancers, but I was not completely sure. Later in the week, Facebook proved its worth when another contributor’s photo was corrected from Blue-fronted to Powdered Dancer. My photos are also Powdered Dancers. 
The first two photos are of andromorphs. These females look similar to males, but lack blue abdomen tips. The sutures between their blue thorax plates are wider than those of Blue-fronted Dancers. Elsewhere in this blog, I wrote that the apparent advantage for a female looking like a male is that competing males are less likely to hassle these females.
This third photo is of an immature male. Note its blue abdomen tip and the broad, pale stripe along the side of its thorax. In the field, I actually identified this individual correctly as a Powdered Dancer.
These last two photos are of female Powdered Dancers. The black lines on the thorax are too wide to be other species. These damselflies also lack dark sides to the ends of their abdomens. Thanks to Ed Lam for assisting me through Facebook with these identifications. Of course, I am ultimately responsible for the IDs made on this blog page.

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