Backyard bug profile: Celithemis eponina

Backyard bug profile: <em>Celithemis eponina</em>
The beginning of spring, by which I mean the arrival of the rainy season, is one of my favorite times of year here in south Florida. The damselflies and dragonflies are out in significant numbers again, dotting the grasses and trees searching for food. Earlier this week there were dozens of dragonflies cruising the back ...

After the rains, the odonates appear

After the rains, the odonates appear
South Florida is typically described as having two seasons: wet (May through October) and dry (November through April). Hydrologists like to split this up a bit further, with the wet season (now called high rainfall, low evapotranspiration season) running June through October, and the dry season now divided into two subseasons: low rainfall, low evapotranspiration ...

Citrine forktail

Citrine forktail
Last week I started to notice the persistent presence in these here parts of those ephemeral and infernally hard to see odonates, the damselflies. Two forktail species, Rambur’s and Citrine, (Ischnura ramburii and I. hastata, for those of you keeping score at home) are the only ones present so far, but I’m sure that soon ...

Cold spells=insect close-ups

Cold spells=insect close-ups
The first few days of fall in Florida often bring cold (well, cool) fronts to the region. This year we’re already on our second or third round of long-sleeve days, so I thought this might be a good time to show off what I’ve been able to capture of the cold-slowed insect fauna. Here’s a ...

When dragonflies don’t… 2

When dragonflies don't...
fly, that is. This morning when Eric and I went outside to plant some basil (yes, November is the start of herb-growing season here in south Florida), we noticed a dragonfly on the wall of the house that wasn’t moving very much. One of its wings was at an odd angle: On closer inspection, it ...

Dragonfly eyes

Dragonfly eyes
For those who know a few dead languages, it probably comes as no surprise that dragonflies have excellent vision. The very word dragon (via Latin draco, from the Greek δρακοιν) means “to see clearly.” And, as the late Philip Corbet noted in his magnum opus, “no other insects have compound eyes that are larger or contain more ommatidia [facets]. ...

Dragonflies in 3D

Dragonflies in 3D
If you are At All into dragonflies, you should check out the 3D image library at odonatacentral.org. Absolutely amazing. I became a member several years ago and have checked in from time to time since then. I plan on visiting more frequently now.

New backyard bug: Anax junius, Common Green Darner 5

New backyard bug: <em>Anax junius</em>, Common Green Darner
A couple of years ago I was going through my photo files and ran across a picture of a pretty dragonfly, Anax junius, the common green darner. I had seen this darner on the trail at Fern Forest, and since I was posting about dragonflies at the time, I wrote a brief piece about it. ...

Some more damsels of August [Updated]

Some more damsels of August [Updated]
Last week I noticed a couple more damselflies; these guys were in the front yard instead of the back yard. The first two pictures are from Saturday August 20th: This next shot is from Monday the 22nd. I’m not sure, but I think this might be the same individual, just a bit older and a ...

A few damselflies from August 1

A few damselflies from August
This month the odonata population (dragonflies, anisoptera, and damselflies, zygoptera) seems to have exploded in Palm Beach County. We’ve had dozens of dragonflies patrolling our pool, (tonight it even looked like a few of them were trying, in a not very evolutionarily adaptive way, to lay eggs in it!). But we’ve also had a few ...