Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Betsy's Blue-tipped Dancer

On a recent trip to Minnesota, Betsy came across a new damselfly for us – the Blue-tipped Dancer.  She was able to get a picture of it for documentation, which is shown below.

A male Blue-tipped Dancer from Rice County, Minnesota.

She knew right away it was a dancer by the way it "flipped" its wings after landing.  It also tends to hold its wings completely above the abdomen, another dancer trait.

After identifying it, we checked the range maps, and found that it's a bit uncommon where she saw it.  Shown below is the dot map from Odonata Central.

Dot map for the Blue-tipped Dancer, as compiled by Odonata Central.

Zooming in to River Bend Nature Center near Faribault, MN in Rice County, we see that the dots begin to disappear.  This is shown below.

Dot map for the Blue-tipped Dancer for Minnesota.

Betsy's observation was in Rice County, and only a single observation of this species had been made in this county before.  The previous sighting is indicated with the arrow.  Betsy saw the dancer on the other side of Rice County, so we'll add her observation to the dot map so others can know where it can be seen.

Here's a bit more detailed map showing where Rice County is in relation to Minneapolis:

Rice County is the boxed region south of Minneapolis.

A closer look shows Betsy's observation site, and the only other observation in Rice County:

Detailed map showing River Bend Nature Center, where Betsy saw her dancer.  The only other report of this damselfly from Rice County was at the indicated location near Northfield.


Betsy's observation has been accepted, and now appears on the Odonata Central dot map.  Here it is:

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