Saturday, August 17, 2019

Red-veined Meadowhawk

On 1 August 2019, Erika and I found an odd dragonfly at Olympia’s Priest Point Park rose garden. After considerable deliberation with our various dragonfly experts, we conclude this is a new dragonfly for us—a Red-veined Meadowhawk. The clinching identification mark is hard to see in this photo. The radial planate should contain double cells. The first problem was to figure out what is a radial planate. This structure is an oval area (but with a pointed apex and base) in the center of the upper wing. This structure is hard to see in this photo, but close examination seems to indicate this space is double-celled. (We have made repeated subsequent visits to the rose garden, which have yielded no or uncooperative dragonflies.) Other field marks of Red-veined Meadowhawks include red-veins that touch relatively long, dark terminal wing spots (the stigmata), the wings being almost entirely amber-washed, black legs, and dark reddish eyes.

Red-veined Meadowhawks are found from western Canada south through most of California and east to North Dakota, Colorado, and Nevada. Males perch on plant tops, usually near ponds or slow-flowing streams. They are not often found over open water, preferring wetlands that dry up by midsummer. Priest Point’s rose garden is near such ephemeral streams, and, other than those, lacks apparent wetlands.

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