A few days ago we went to the Gilbert Water Ranch, and saw almost constant activity. Only a couple Variegated Meadowhawks were seen, and they were dark and worn in appearance. The majority of individuals we saw were of other species, and they appeared to be newly emerged – in fact, many were brilliantly colored. Here's the species list we compiled during about an hour at the water ranch:
Common Green Darner
We got a couple shots of some of the flashier individuals. Here's a sampling:
Common Green Darners were fairly common. The male below appeared to be quite fresh, and spent a lot of time interacting with other males in the area. No females were observed.
|A male Common Green Darner. Notice the contrasting green thorax and blue abdomen.|
We also saw Mexican Amberwings for the first time this year. The male below was dazzling in the bright sun.
|A male Mexican Amberwing patrolling his territory.|
We also had a few good looks at a Blue Dasher, only the second we've seen this year.
|A male Blue Dasher was very active.|
In a small stream at the water ranch a Blue-ringed Dancer perched on a rock in the middle of the stream. This is a typical perching location for these damselflies.
|A male Blue-ringed Dancer perched in a rock in a flowing stream.|
As we observed the Blue-ringed Dancer, a couple male Flame Skimmers rushed by in a wild flash of intense red color. It was an impressive sight in the sparkling sunlight along the stream. One of them perched and gave me some nice looks and a couple photos.
|A male Flame Skimmer on the lookout for its rival, who came along shortly after this picture was taken.|
Notice that the front two legs of the skimmer are tucked neatly behind its head. It flies this way too, giving it a more aerodynamic shape. The legs are used to process prey.