Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Plain Amberwing

Amberwings are small dragonflies, usually with orange wings. Males have relatively plain wings, females can have their wings variously spotted with darker colors. Three species inhabit the United States, and the Eastern Amberwing is common here in Minnesota. Four amberwing species inhabit Costa Rica. One, which I will show you later, has yet to be scientifically described.

This Plain Amberwing awaited us at the end of the Carara trail on 4 July. I was hoping to identify it as a Slough Amberwing, but the legs in this photo are clearly pale-colored—Slough Amberwings have dark legs. Its dark sides argue against its being a Golden Amberwing. Amberwings look similar and are difficult to identify. Most of the amberwings we saw in Costa Rica proved to be Plain Amberwings. In any event, the small size and the black and orange striped abdomens are thought to make these dragonflies mimic wasps. Predators may think twice about attacking.

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