Saturday, July 7, 2012

Damselfly: Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita)

June 22rd, 2012. I was photographing a small wildflower by a road in the Scull Shoals Experimental Forest when I noticed some movement among the leaves a few inches above the ground. This usually means some small insect whose identification I have no chance of making. But this time, there were a couple of small damselflies not more than an inch in length flying stealthily from leaf to leaf. They’d settle on leaves unless disturbed so we had several opportunities to photograph them.

For once, it was relatively easy to identify them. The ‘exclamation mark’ pattern on the thorax is diagnostic for the Fragile Forktail (IIschnura posita). One had blue markings and the other had cream markings.

A view to give a relative size of the damselfly.


Closer views of the ‘blue’ male resting on a leaf.


Closer views of the ‘cream’ male resting on a leaf.

This damselfly is munching on a smaller insect it caught.
Click on an image to view a larger image

 Identification resources: 
- Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata) of Georgia: Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) 
- Giff Beaton, Pond Damsels (Coenagrionidae): Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) 
- Fairfax County Public Schools: Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) 
- BugGuide: Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) [Male-Cream] [Male-Blue]

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