Bug Pics & ID forum: GINKS: Dragons and Damsels

 
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Ginks
Mar 19, 2015 11:55 AM CST
I have a few pictures of damselflies and dragonflies. I'd like to check the ID of these lovely creatures with Janet, if I may, please.

The first photos are of a dragonfly, a Common Darter, Sympetrum striolatum, male. They were taken in my garden in late August, 2011. This handsome chap came to the same resting place several times.

Thumb of 2015-03-19/Ginks/577465
Thumb of 2015-03-19/Ginks/0c68e9
Thumb of 2015-03-19/Ginks/014f83

I used the yellow lines on his legs to help me ID him.
Have I got it right, please, Janet?
Group hug

Ginks
Mar 19, 2015 12:16 PM CST
I'm not at all sure of the ID of this next dragonfly. It settled on the nesting box in the early morning sunshine one day in late August, 2012. Luckily I had my camera on the windowsill, but I had a very limited side view.

I therefore used the overall appearance and the gorgeous bright blue cumerbund to help me ID this fella as a Migrant Hawker, Aeshna mixta, male.

Thumb of 2015-03-19/Ginks/d1ca03
Thumb of 2015-03-19/Ginks/6ab6dd

I saw this dragonfly darting up and down the hedge on a few occasions in the following days, but he never settled close enough for me to take any more photos.

What do you think, please, Janet?
Group hug
ImageJRsbugs
Mar 19, 2015 12:58 PM CST
Name: Janet
Near Lincoln UK
Lovely shots Ginks! You have named the Common Darter correctly. Thumbs up

You might have already come across this site, which gives clues .. but it is for Ireland.

http://www.habitas.org.uk/dragonflyireland/species.htm#5647

You got the next one correct too, male Migrant Hawker. I see it every year but only got a female last year. I had several one year at the same time, they rest on my Leylandii hedge which is dying but the brown colouring is good camouflage. Hilarious!
Ginks
Mar 19, 2015 6:48 PM CST
Thanks, Janet. Thumbs up

I hadn't come across the Irish site. I like it, thanks for the link.

Your comment about your dragons resting on your leylandii hedge reminded me of something. It was before I had my camera... erm, bright blue critters wizzing past me, nearly hitting me on the nose, and landing on the lonicera hedge the other side of my path. I remember them resting there in the early morning sunshine, but don't know what species they were. Maybe I'll find out in the next day or so.

Night night...
Group hug
Ginks
Mar 20, 2015 6:27 AM CST
The bright blue critters that I mentioned in my previous post must have been male Banded Demoiselles, Calopteryx splendens .

I have some photos of one of these beauties which I took at a later date. I'll have to post them later because the sun has come out and I can't see the screen. Thumbs up Rolling on the floor laughing

Group hug
Ginks
Mar 20, 2015 5:44 PM CST
Here are the photos I talked about in my previous post. It's taken me a while to choose them, I had so many!

In July, 2011, a flash of colour caught my eye in the dazzle of brilliant sunshine after a short, sharp shower. This beautiful male Banded Demoiselle, Calopteryx splendens, had landed on the ceanothus. He basked in the sunshine, fluttering his wings every now and again, and then flew off.
Thumb of 2015-03-20/Ginks/6cbb7b Thumb of 2015-03-20/Ginks/e84077
Thumb of 2015-03-20/Ginks/29382f Thumb of 2015-03-20/Ginks/5dca2d

Is my ID correct, please, Janet?
Group hug
ImageJRsbugs
Mar 20, 2015 6:50 PM CST
Name: Janet
Near Lincoln UK
Beautiful! Yes you got it, the male Beautiful Demoiselle has all dark wings.

I saw this only once on 3rd July 2009, it was on Forsythia Fiesta. I got two quick shots before it flew, only kept one. I remember I was excited and nervous!

Thumb of 2015-03-21/JRsbugs/853a2b
Ginks
Mar 20, 2015 7:18 PM CST
The very next morning, 7/7/2011, a female Common Blue Damselfly, Enallagma cyathigerum, spent a long time resting in the lavender bush just a couple of steps away from the ceanothus. The day was cooler, the light softer, and she was so sweet, She appeared to be fascinated by me and my camera.
Thumb of 2015-03-21/Ginks/595e70 Thumb of 2015-03-21/Ginks/1f3f1e
Thumb of 2015-03-21/Ginks/526831 Thumb of 2015-03-21/Ginks/77a047

The following afternoon, 8/7/2011, she was back! More photos... and a truly magical moment.
Thumb of 2015-03-21/Ginks/1ebd3b Thumb of 2015-03-21/Ginks/704ec1

Have I got this ID right, please, Janet? I find the females of these species much more difficult to ID as they come in different colourways... and are nowhere near as brash as the males!
Group hug
Ginks
Mar 20, 2015 7:36 PM CST
I've just had another look at those last two shots and I'm not so sure it's the same female... She is a different colour, more brown than blue, noticably so on her thorax. What do you think, Janet? Confused

I was really nervous and excited too... so much so that I hardly looked at my camera. It was only when I had my shots up on the screen that I realised how very FURRY the male Banded Demoiselle was. Look at the eye shot... his fur is glistening in the sunshine!

MUST get to bed...
Night night...
Group hug
Ginks
Mar 20, 2015 7:40 PM CST
Your shot of the Banded Demoiselle is super, Janet. I tip my hat to you. Talk about lucky... Hilarious!
ImageJRsbugs
Mar 21, 2015 6:14 AM CST
Name: Janet
Near Lincoln UK
Common Blue Damselfly is correct, the second one is a different female, more 'teneral'. When newly hatched they are a pale colour, often pink-brown as they mature.

Super shots, you were lucky the second one stayed put while you held the stem! I find I can often get close while they take no notice, other times they are skittish.

Damsels do have quite hairy faces, try getting a full frontal of the head sometime, they will often sit while you get very close.

My shot was lucky as I barely had time to get anything! Hilarious!

Good afternoon. Group hug
Ginks
Mar 21, 2015 7:41 AM CST
Good afternoon to you too! Actually, it's a thoroughly awful afternoon, dull and drizzly. I can hardly keep my eyes open.

I agree Yes, I agree, definitely different females. I'd put all those shots in the same folder by mistake and assumed that I'd taken them all on the same day.

I must have been doing some "compare" close-ups while you were writing to me. I'll post the shots anyway, just in case anyone (wnats... typo... do you think it's a new kind of gnat? Hilarious! ) wants to see what you mean. I'd like to see the pics side by side. I haven't got the hang of having two lots of pics up on my screen at the same time.

Thumb of 2015-03-21/Ginks/41023d Thumb of 2015-03-21/Ginks/2c3c21

Thanks for confirming my ID. There's another one coming up, but not now. Tea and biccies and a snooze...
Group hug
Ginks
Mar 21, 2015 7:48 AM CST
Wow! That's GOOD. Thumbs up

I'm sure some of our shots and ideas are better on your site than on the "professional" sites. Whistling

ROFL I didn't mean that the way it sounds. BugLife is thoroughly professional... ROFL
ImageJRsbugs
Mar 21, 2015 9:18 AM CST
Name: Janet
Near Lincoln UK
Great comparison! Thumbs up

It's dull and dreary here too, I was dropping off to sleep.

To get two pics up at once on your screen, open one of the pics in a new window by using a right click over the pic. Then you can drag the new window to one side from both edges, do the same with the other window so they are side to side.

I don't aim to be professional, just as accurate as I can be which is sometimes better than the professionals as they do make mistakes! Hilarious!
Ginks
Mar 22, 2015 4:53 PM CST
Thanks for the tip...
Group hug
Ginks
Mar 22, 2015 5:46 PM CST
This is the last time I saw a damselfly. Sad

I was on safari at the bottom of my garden one brilliantly sunny day, 20th June, 2012, when a female Common Blue Damselfly, Enallagma cyathigerum, flew in and landed on an old teasel stem right beside me. Gosh, she made me jump! I got a few shots of her, then she started flitting about and I couldn't follow her without risking a fall.

This shot is the best for ID purposes... it even shows the thistle and Christmas tree markings on S2 and S8 as per http://www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/species/common-blue-da... AND her sweet furry face is glistening in the sun... Lovey dubby
Thumb of 2015-03-22/Ginks/4cf566

Barring miracles... that's all, Folks!
Group hug Group hug Group hug
ImageJRsbugs
Mar 22, 2015 6:39 PM CST
Name: Janet
Near Lincoln UK
How time flies! How damselflies fly! Hilarious! They are amazing to watch flitting about like fairies, it's impossible for anyone to follow them once they fly. They like to land on rough grass in my garden now that I leave rough grass, maybe it's good camouflage.

I was missing Common Darters last year, I hope it's not because of all the birds I'm attracting. Rolling my eyes.
Ginks
Mar 23, 2015 7:26 PM CST
There's one more species that visited my garden, Janet, but I don't have any photos of it.

You talking of time flying made me think of it... was it last year or the year before that I told you about the big gold and bronze dragonfly that flew past occasionally, sometimes settling on the ivy? The minute I mentioned that it flew like a clockwork toy you knew what it was...

... and I've forgotten!

I read somewhere, in the last few days, that some species (it might not have been dragonflies) have good and bad years. Maybe your Common Darters will be back, in spite of the birds.

Night night
Group hug Group hug Group hug
ImageJRsbugs
Mar 24, 2015 9:30 AM CST
Name: Janet
Near Lincoln UK
I remember you saying about the big dragon Ginks, but which year that was is anybody's guess. Hilarious! A search on this cubit may reveal when, the photo I got was in 2012 of a Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis but I see it most years.

http://cubits.org/buglife/thread/view_post/908720/

It's not coming up in a search other than the postings I have made, I can't think it was anything else. Maybe it's not being picked up in the threads with many pages but it usually does.

In some years I get new surprises even if some species are noticeably lacking, but I still think birds play a big part in eating insects.

Good sunny afternoon, the sun keeps popping out. Hurray!

Group hug


Ginks
Apr 28, 2015 9:37 AM CST
Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing Thumbs up

Group hug Group hug Group hug

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