Thursday, June 10, 2010
Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly
As you enter the nature trail of this park, one of the first things you see is a small bridge. You have to cross this bridge to get onto the main trail that leads to the rest of the park. As a side note, there are snakes under that bridge. I've had some gruesome pictures of them right here in the past. But today I want to tell you about these dragonflies.
Right before I was about to step onto the bridge two dragonflies landed right in front of me! Since this is the place where I always have my camera ready I was well prepared to get several pictures of these two. I'll tell you, this was a golden opportunity! As you can see, I did indeed get my pictures!
The first thing I did was a Google search for big brown dragonfly, which these are. They're very big dragonflies, but not the biggest around here. These look to be over two inches long, and the biggest ones dwarf them. They're not exactly cute looking.
Anyway, what I found was twelve spotted skimmer dragonflies. Those looked very similar to these in the pictures, so I was almost prepared to declare that as the proper identity. But something was still bugging me. Bugging, get it! What bothered me was the white spots on their sides. The skimmers had white stripes, not these broken marks that these have. It was wrong!
I finally checked through a few of my online field guides, including a new one I found in my search, and I found out that these were actually female common whitetail dragonflies! The males are those bigger ones that I mentioned. The field guides mentioned that the females are easily mistaken for the skimmers. Do your own search and you'll see.
Now you may have noticed that these pictures look a little dark. There was a big cloud over the area right then, but it cleared away soon after. And guess what! The best is yet to come. I came upon a male and a female together later at the very back of the park. Those pictures are very special. Here's a sneak peek to end the story.
Nature Center Magazine that brings you a review and link to a new online field guide in each article of its kind. I'm a major contributor to this series, so they will be there in the weeks to come.
In fact, there is a new online field guide featured today at the magazine. The subject of this one is a field guide for birds of the UK and Europe. It was requested in the comments of the last article, so I went on a search throughout the world to find one that fits the bill. The bugs will be coming soon.
We actually have two articles at Nature Center today. Copas is bringing us another state from his tour of nature throughout the US. More valuable information! The site is growing fast. We are gaining more visitors and contributors every day, and the articles and information also have to grow. I'm excited to have this much nature around me even when I'm at home. See you there!