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280 days of Urbpandemonium #103

 photo P1030324_zps3mlqwtfv.jpg

Alexis is my go-to dragonfly identifier. She's studied the book, and has a good grasp of where to look on these things to tell them apart from one another. She was able to tell at a glance that this was probably a young male meadowhawk. Meadowhawks (genus Sympetrum*) are smallish dragons that are often found in fields (and suburban yards) far from water. Adult males are bright red, but females and young males are less colorful.

She was able to determine very quickly that this was one of the meadowhawks that represents a trio of species that are nearly impossible to tell apart, without a dissecting microscope aimed at their ... abdominal appendages. There is some thought that at least two of the three species are only one species previously described as two. We will content ourselves by saying that this is either Sympetrum internum**, S. obtrusa***, or S. rubicundulum****.



* "With rock" possibly referring to being found in habitats far from water
** "Interior" -- an anatomical descriptor?
*** "Sticking out" probably a reference to the white face of the adult male of this species
**** "Miniature ruby"


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urbpan
Jul. 19th, 2015 10:17 am (UTC)
Huge dragonfly-like insects were around 100 million years BEFORE the Jurassic period (see geologic time scales here: http://www.fossilmuseum.net/GeologicalTimeMachine.htm)
The modern dragonfly suborder first appears in Triassic period fossil (just before the Jurassic). Yes dragonflies are considered one of the more ancient lines of insects.
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