Yesterday we were walking in the forest preserve and there were like, a gazillion weird looking dragonflies. Like this big guy.
We'd never seen a dragonfly like this one before, but apparently it is pretty common, because it is called a common whitetail. But I like to call him by his cute scientific name, libellula lydia. 

We also found these petite little dragonflies.
Psych!  It's a damselfly! huh-what?! I was fooled as well, my friends. But I am here to guide you in differentiating these two similarly appearing insects. 1) Damselflies have eyes on either side of their head, like a hammerhead shark. 2) Damselflies usually rest with their wings together, as seen above, while dragonflies rest with their wings akimbo, if you will. Also, damselflies seem harder to identify because their markings aren't as identical to other members of their species, in my opinion. I think this one above is a male swamp spreadwing, lestes vigilax. 
This is the female swamp spreadwing, I think. Doesn't she have pretty amber eyes?
And this lovely lady is a powdered dancer, argia moesta. Or maybe he's a handsome male blue fronted dancer. I used this website to try to identify the damselflies. Feel free to take a gander and help me figure out what species they are. Or you can just look at the pretty pictures!

06/08/2010 08:48

I think the fact that you compared damselflies to hammerhead sharks makes them a little more creepy :)
I like that you are posting some of the great Latin/Greek names!


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