Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Hudsonian Whiteface

On a warm, sunny 29 April 2919, Erika and I explored the hiking trails in the McLane Creek Nature Trail Pond, located southwest of Olympia. The weather is still a bit cool for dragonflies, and we only saw one. We became disoriented and hiked a short distance up the foothills behind the ponds. In an old clearcut area, maybe five years old and very brushy, a very small dragonfly flew ahead of us, landing low in the trailside undergrowth. If you look closely, you may notice that the black spots on the hind wings have pale veins—a trait unique to the Hudsonian Whiteface. Males and some females are reddish. This yellow-spotted female does sport a few anterior spots with pale orange tinge. The spots are also wider than in other whitefaces.

Hudsonian Whitefaces are found from Alaska and across Canada, south to central California, Nevada, Michigan and New Jersey. Females wander from their acetic, boggy ponds and are often found away from water in forest clearings (Paulson 2009). This whiteface is the first I have ever encountered.

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