Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Flurry of Forktails

Betsy and I went to Cranberry Lake here in Anacortes for our first visit of the 2018 dragonfly season. The activity was intense, with lots of Four-spotted Skimmers zipping around, landing on the path, mating, and laying eggs. Here's an example of a Four-spotted Skimmer:

Notice the four dark spots on the center of the leading edges of the wings—these are the four spots in the name. The dark spots near the tip of the wing are the stigma, which all dragonflies possess, and hence are not distinguishing features. Finally, note the dark wings patches near the base of the hindwings with the white veins, a distinctive feature of this species.

Four-spotted Skimmers are also quite friendly and approachable dragonflies; they can be whispered for a closer look:

We also saw California Darners, American Emeralds and Spiny Baskettails—more about the baskettails in another post to follow.

There were lots of Pacific Forktails out and about today as well. In fact, there was one rock where they liked to congregate—forktail flats. Here's a look at seven of them enjoying the sunny day.

Here's a little closer look:

Notice the mix of males and females in this photo.

All in all, a lovely day at the lake.

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