Tuesday, March 24, 2009


By sheer coincidence, the latest insect I have captured is also a member of Odonata, but a different family. I already have three representatives of Coenagrionidae in my collection, so I only took live photos of this one then let her fly away. Coenagrionidae are damselflies, which go by the common family name of "Pond Damsels" or "Narrow Winged Damselflies." This is a very large family, and they range in length from 20mm to 50mm. They mostly occur along streams and still bodies of water. They hold their wings together over the body when at rest, unlike dragonflies which hold their wings flat, perpendicular to their body orientation. Coloration can vary, including blue, purple, red, orange, yellow, black and green, in different combinations.

Odonata; Zygoptera; Coenagrionidae; Ischnura denticollis
Common Name: Black-fronted Forktail

Black-fronted forktails are very common in Southern California. The one pictured above is a female, and thorax is gray with purple eyes, and a single blue band at the tip of the abdomen. Males have a blue thorax and eyes. This specimen was caught in downtown San Diego.

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