Sunday, December 13, 2015

Species Spotlight: American Emerald

One of the more elusive dragonflies in Anacortes is the American Emerald.  So far, we've only seen this species in June and July, and then it's usually just one or two observations.

The American Emerald is an easy dragonfly to ID.  Here's a shot showing the main field marks:

Of course, the most striking field mark for this species is the intense, emerald-green color of the eyes.  Overall, this dragonfly looks black in flight, but when it turns toward you the eyes flash a brilliant green.

The second distinguishing field mark is the white ring at the base of the abdomen.  This can be seen clearly below:

The similar-looking Ringed Emerald has a white ring at the base of each segment of the abdomen.

This is a beautiful and intriguing dragonfly.  It's always a special treat to see one of them flying around Cranberry Lake.

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