Currently viewing the category: "Dragonflies and Damselflies"

Subject:  What’s this bug??
Geographic location of the bug:  East Los Angeles
Date: 09/28/2021
Time: 07:51 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Look at this guy! I think it’s high.
How you want your letter signed:  Dr. Greenthumb

Green Darner

Hey Dr. Greenthumb,
This awesome Dragonfly is a Green Darner.  There are many images of the male Green Darner using his anal claspers to grab the female by the neck during mating on the Natural History of Orange County website.  Dragonflies frequently rest on foliage, and your marijuana plant may have been the most convenient location for this individual to rest.  As to whether it got high, we cannot say, but we would never discount the possibility.

Subject:  unknown dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  sidney, ohio
Date: 08/11/2021
Time: 05:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  As it was happening, I couldn’t identify the animal or its action but with a zoomed image from my camera I see that a dragonfly is eating the butterfly.  Later that day I found a wing from the butterfly under this power line.
I live in Sidney, Ohio, USA.  This picture was taken 2 Aug ’21.
I believe that I’ve identified the butterfly as an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.  I was excited to find what I believed to be the identification of the dragonfly.  It looks very much like a Male Southern Vicetail, Hemigomphus gouldii as pictured here (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_eyes_dragonfly_HNP_face_(16072822547).jpg).
I was disheartened when I learned that the Vicetail is indigenous to southeastern Australia so probably not my dragonfly.
Any help in its identification is greatly appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Charlie

Dragonhunter eats Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Dear Charlie,
Daniel has been in Northeast Ohio for two weeks now and the butterflies, Lightning Bugs and Cicadas are all amazing this year.  Your Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is a female as evidenced by the blue scales on the hind wings.  We turned to Ohio Dragonflies to identify this impressive hunter and we believe we have identified it as a Dragon Hunter on pg 44 where it states:  “
While not very common, when seen this dragonfly will be noticed and remembered. It is our largest clubtail and probably the heaviest of all Ohio dragonflies. Its large thorax and small head are distinctive. As the name suggests, it eats large prey including dragonflies up to the size of the swift river cruiser. They are very sensitive to pollution, and thus require clean streams. The distinctive, large (1 to 1.5-inch across) roundish-shaped larvae spend up to four years living under leaf litter and bark debris at the river’s edge.”  This BugGuide image is a very close match to the eyes and yellow thoracic markings evident in your image.  Thanks for submitting this awesome Food Chain image.

Subject:  Unidentified ugly water bug
Geographic location of the bug:  In Wakomata Lake, Ontario
Date: 08/04/2021
Time: 01:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello!
I was fishing in Wakomata Lake and retrieved a cast and found this bug attached to my lure!! I would love to know what it is! There’s been great debate amongst my family. I’ve been researching and the closest i found that it Might be is a hellgrammite??
How you want your letter signed:  Deanna Sanders

Dragonfly Naiad

Dear Deanna,
It is easy to confuse aquatic larvae.  This is not a Hellgrammite.  It is a Dragonfly naiad, the immature predatory nymph of a Dragonfly.  Perhaps it mistook your lure for a minnow.

Dragonfly Naiad

THAT is crazy!!
thank you so much for your feedback… we had quite a chat about it amongst ourselves. “Predatory”!!!!
Enjoy your day!!
Deanna

Subject:  Big beautiful dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Kent, WA
Date: 06/25/2021
Time: 04:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This beauty landed on our volleyball net. Never saw one like it!
How you want your letter signed:  AaronF

Eight Spotted Skimmer

Dear AaronF,
Thank you so much for submitting your image of an Eight Spotted Skimmer,
Libellula forensis, which is pictured on BugGuideBugGuide also provides this interesting history of the evolution of its common name:  “Years ago many children refered to this as the ‘Six-spot’, and counted the basal spots as two crossing the thorax, instead of four separate spots. The same went for the then ‘Ten-spot’, which most recent books have switched to calling the ‘Twelve-spotted Skimmer’. The ‘Six-spot’ name doesn’t seem to appear in any books, but was likely rationalized from comparison with the ‘Ten-spot’ that was to be found in many books. Back then, Libellula forensis didn’t seem to have an established published common name yet.”

Subject:  Flame Skimmer rests on tomato cages
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/24/2021
Time: 11:04 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
As Daniel’s final days as a full time college professor near an end, he is easing into retirement, including spending large portions of the day in the yard just puttering around and observing the wealth of wildlife, including numerous insects.  As the years pass, patterns begin to emerge and species begin to make their annual appearances, somewhat on schedule.  For years, Daniel has observed Dragonflies in his yard that he thought were Flame Skimmers, but thanks to this BugGuide description, he now believes they have been Neon Skimmers which means updating numerous old postings with the corrections.  Though originally identified as Flame Skimmers, Daniel now believes he has been observing both male Neon Skimmers and female Neon Skimmers near the stagnant fountain that serves as a nursery for the naiads, the Dragonfly nymphs that live in the fountain and eat the mosquitoes.

Male Neon Skimmer

Daniel suspects this beauty recently metamorphosed into a winged adult.  It was not at all shy, allowing Daniel to get quite close with his magicphone to capture a series of images, but in this final shot, the Neon Skimmer rotated its head, very much aware that Daniel was staking it with the camera, but it did not fly off for nearly an hour.

 

Subject:  Gorgeous red dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Albany Pine Bush, Albany, NY
Date: 06/10/2021
Time: 08:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Susan B. here with yet another dispatch from the Albany Pine Bush! Karner Blue season is ending, but I’m looking forward to more of them in July. Meanwhile I discovered a great wetland area with several ponds, and numerous dragonflies zipping about and skimming over the water. There were quite a few familiar species, but also a few of these dragonflies that I’m not sure about. Finally one landed on a nearby twig and let me get some photos.
I thought they were Red Saddlebags dragonflies at first, but when I got home I realized there doesn’t seem to be a record of Red Saddlebags in my area on iNaturalist, and the photos I found seem to have more light brown on them. For the record, the dragonfly is a bit more vivid and red than it appears in the photo–it’s in silhouette.
For what it’s worth, there were several Black Saddlebags dragonflies flying around as well, and the two or three of this species were similar in size, shape, and behavior, but much more vivid red.
Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Susan B.

Red Saddlebags

Dear Susan,
Just because there is no record of a Red Saddlebags,
Tramea onusta, on iNaturalist does not mean they are not present in Albany.  We believe based on this and other images on BugGuide that your initial impulse is correct and that this is a Red Saddlebags, though BugGuide does not include any New York sightings, but BugGuide does indicate the range is:  “Eastern half of US .”  Insect Identification does include New York sightings.