Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Eastern Forktail

Eastern Forktail
Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.

Ischnura verticalis, also known as the Eastern Forktail, is perhaps the commonest species of Odonata in North America. This little sprightly fellow flew up in front of me near a pond off Embury Road in NW Washtenaw Co., MI. It is one of the earliest species to emerge, and can be found in any pond-like environment, from storm water retention ponds to bakyard lily pools and of course, all of our typical natural ponds and sloughs. It has multiple generations per year, and seems to be abundant just about anywhere. Females are mostly all dark, but the immature adult females may also be orange and black. As they age, the turn a bluish-gray color, and these different manifestations of color patterns confound inexperienced ode watchers/collectors, so that I used to get people sending me various specimens that they thought were three different species. With all the new ode books out there, people are being educated on this topic, so a lot more observers are aware that colors may change through the course of an adult dragonfly's life.
The Eastern Forktail IS a pretty little damselfly, even if it is the Odonata equivalent of an English Sparrow. -- males are pretty, and everywhere, and human influenced landscapes (wetlands) seem to cater to them.

No comments: