Notes on an unidentified lestes found in yard on July 12, 2010

I’m learning that identification of individuals in the genus lestes presents a bit of a challenge, and that some simply can’t be identified in the field. This young male that came to the yard last summer is a case in point.

Characteristics

  • Large (~2 inches long) damsel with wings held at 45° angle.
  • Male (accessory sex organ on S2)
  • Legs: Dark/black
  • S9: Blue
  • S8–S10: Swollen, whitish ventrally
  • Wings: Dark stigma bordered with white
  • Eyes: Brown, blue postocularly
  • Face: Looks brownish
  • Abdomen dorsal: S3–S6 Metallic greenish (aqua-marine sheen), S7–S8 brownish, S10 dark; white ventrally, dark band at base of segments
  • Cerci: Hard to see what shape they are in photo taken from above, but they are clearly visible.

Amber-winged was suggested as a possibility, but I’m not sure:

  • Pro: Coloration of S3-S6 (aqua-marine sheen); dark band at base of abdominal segments; abdomen white ventrally; pruinosity on S9; fairly robust appearance
  • Con: Clearly visible cerci; lack of blue bands on lateral thorax of what apparently is NOT a mature individual; pruinosity ONLY on S9

Here are some photos, the quality of which isn’t good enough to do more than provide certainty about genus:

Picking back up after a bit of a break

A break of more than a year, actually, so this post will be brief. Wouldn’t want to strain any under-used writing parts.

Birds

Common Yellowthroats are back in the yard—and some newcomers, all this past week:

  • Swainson’s Thrush (on the wire over the garage)
  • Black-throated Green Warbler, adult male
  • Palm Warbler

The Black-throated Green and Palm bring the warbler list to nine:

  1. Tennessee Warbler
  2. Orange-crowned Warbler
  3. Nashville Warbler
  4. Magnolia Warbler
  5. Black-throated Green Warbler
  6. Palm Warbler
  7. Mourning Warbler
  8. Common Yellowthroat
  9. Wilson’s Warbler

Lepidoptera

Newcomers this year:

  • Giant Swallowtail
  • White-lined Sphinx

In bloom

The short list includes:

  • Rose Turtlehead
  • White Turtlehead
  • Sweet Coneflower
  • Long-headed Coneflower (just barely)
  • Heath Aster (finally!)

I expect the New England Asters to have a few open blooms by the end of the day.

Sightings in brief, 7.27.2010

Damsels and dragons

Around 2:00 this afternoon while working on a project, I glanced at the window of my second-floor office and saw a tiny odonate hovering outside looking in. The abdomen was very slender, and the creature had the delicate appearance of a damselfly. Face, thorax, and abdomen all looked yellow-orange. I looked closely at the thorax and face thinking it might be a Citrine, but those parts of the body were the same color, or close to the same color, as the abdomen. I didn’t notice black on the segments, but there might have been some. The tip of the abdomen was slightly clubbed and looked slightly more intensely colored than the rest.

Butterflies

My first yard Pearl Crescent and a Tiger Swallowtail (yellow form) were flying in the garden. The swallowtail nectared on the several Swamp Milkweed plants.