Friday, September 6, 2013

Band-winged Meadowhawk

On a recent field trip to Burke Lake near Quincy, Washington, we saw a number of Band-winged Meadowhawks.  Here's a young female that posed for its picture, happy to be a part of the Dragonfly Whisperer blog:

Band-winged Meadowhawk (female).

This meadowhawk is named for the band of amber color near the base of the wings.  When I first started dragonflying, it was called the Western Meadowhawk, and there was a similar species in the eastern U. S. called the Band-winged Meadowhawk.  These species have been merged due to the fact that intermediates were found.  They all go by the name Band-winged Meadowhawk now.

Band-winged Meadowhawks seem very finicky about where to land.  They often hover above a perch, and just when it looks like they're going to land they lift off again, only to come back for another try.  This can happen numerous times before they finally "take the plunge" and settle down on the perch.  Here's another view of this species from Burke Lake, showing the bands in the wings a little more clearly:

This is dragonfly is widespread across the northern part of North America, as can be seen in the following dot map from Odonata Central:

Here's a closer look at the dot map for the Pacific Northwest area:

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