Tuesday, July 9, 2019

River Jewelwing

Dennis Paulson alerted me to the occurrence of River Jewelwings along Black Creek in Grays Harbor County. He wrote to look where Highway 12 crosses Black Creek. Our son, a recent convert to dragonfly chasing, lacked this stunning damselfly on his list. Finding ourselves at a public boat launch along Black Creek on 8 July, we stopped and looked for jewelwings. David quickly spied one across a small feeder creek. As I struggled to find it, this stunning damselfly flew across the creek and landed a few feet from us. Not often do you encounter a people-watching dragonfly!

River Jewelwings were among the first dragonflies I listed in Minnesota in my new-found career as an entomologist. I wrote about that encounter in this blog. The species is found from southern Canada to the northern United States. Paulson, in his new book on Odonata, writes that male River Jewelwings flutter in front of females. Then they land on the water, presumably showing the female that the current is perfect for carrying oxygen and slow enough that the eggs will not be washed away.

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