Common Skimmer


Damselflies: Suborder Zygoptera

FW and HW similar in size and shape, at rest held together above body or somewhat divergent. Abdomen very slender, c? with 4

terminal appendages. 9 with a well-developed ovipositor.

Nymphs with 3 leaflike gills at end of abdomen (illus., p. 69); swim by body undulations.


Family Calopterygidae

Identification: Wings gradually narrowed at base, with 10 or more antenodal cross veins; usually blackish or with blackish markings {Calopteryx) or clear with a reddish spot at base {Hetaerina); wings at rest held together above body.

These are large damselflies that occur along streams. The male Black-winged Damselfly (PL 1), Calopteryx maculata (Beauvais), a common eastern species, has blackish wings and a metallic greenish-black body; female has dark gray wings with a white stigma and body is not metallic. The American Ruby-spot, Hetaerina americana (Fabricius), another common eastern species, is reddish, with a bright red spot at base of wings.

SPREAD-WINGED DAMSELFLIES Family Lestidae Identification: Wings stalked at base; 2 antenodul cross veins, M3 rises closer to arcuius than to nodus. Wings clear, usually held diverging above body at rest.

Spread-winged damselflies are 13^—2 in., and are common around swamps and ponds. Most belong to the genus Lestes. They can be recognized in the field by the way they hold their wings at rest.


Family Coenagrionidae

Identification: Similar to Lestidae, but M3 rises behind nodus, and wings at rest held together above body.

This group includes most of our damselflies (about 75 species). The majority occur around ponds and swamps (where often abundant), but a few are found along streams. Most species are 1-1 y± in. and clear-winged. Argia fumipennis (Burmeister), which occurs in the southern states, has smoky-brown wings. Many are very brightly colored. Most bluets {Enallagma, the largest genus in the family) are light blue with black markings, species of Amphiagrion are blackish with a red abdomen, and males of the Violet Dancer (PL 1), Argia violacea (Hagen), are largely violet. Color pattern usually differs in the sexes, males being more brightly colored than females.


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