Friday, July 12, 2013

I Stand Corrected Hurrah!

Back on June 15th I took Banished Jr. to First Landing State Park beach for a birthday party. I managed to sneak a few pictures of some of the hundreds of dragonflies out there in the dunes and I posted a couple here and at BugGuide too. Sometimes I post at BugGuide looking for ID and sometimes because I know what it is and it's just a good picture to help others ID their specimens. In the latter spirit I posted 2 pictures of Great Blue Skimmers taken that day.

But now I learn I got it wrong, again.

Yes, one  is a Great Blue but the one below apparently is not. Now its very similar and if you arent expecting it to be anything else you don't look as hard... But in fact its a Bar Winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena ) which I'm happy to say is new to me and much less common than the Great Blue. Its always a good indicator of a species frequency to check how many thumbnail pages there are for it on BugGuide. Great Blue Skimmer has 9 pages of  24 per page. Bar Winger Skimmer 1 page of 24 plus a second page with just 2 images making a grand total of...not so many of them about then.

Oh yes, the beast in question:

    Apparently the identification secret is pruinosity. Pruinosity is the blue/white colouration that a lot of dragonflies , especially the Libellulae, develop as they mature. It mostly occurs on the body but is can show on the wings as it does on the Twelve Spotted Skimmer and the Widow Skimmer. And if you look carefully, as I didn't at the time, it occurs here at the very base of the hindwings. The Great Blue Skimmer doesn't have this.   
Now I need to see if I have any more misidentified that day.

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