Meadowhawk redux

October 03, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

For reasons I can't begin to fathom, from global warming to the election of Donald Trump, it has been a strangely off year for odonates, with way fewer numbers of dragonflies appearing over the local lakes, ponds, and meadows. Indeed, for the past couple of weeks, there have been almost no odes in the yard, and this has me scratching my head. But this warm afternoon, I finally spotted a few working their way around the Hosta stems and trying to snag flies, hopefully mosquitoes. This charmer is one of the Meadowhawks, a late-appearing group of Skimmer dragonflies in the Sympetrum genus... and one of the hardest groups to identify down to species without a lot of study of deceased individuals. Since I simply don't like killing these creatures, I typically just wind up calling them generic Meadowhawks and leaving it at that. Sometimes, though, a picture does the trick, and in this case, I'm pretty sure that I'm looking at an Autumn Meadowhawk. Based on the triangular ovipositor on the underside of the near-end of the abdomen, I'm also reasonable certain that my visitor is a Sympetrum vicinum female. I'm completely certain that the ability to be so specific is genuinely pleasing.


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