Friday, June 15, 2007

Narrow-Winged Damselfly

Narrow-winged Damselfly

I saw this pretty narrow-winged damselfly in the grass a few days ago. Dragonflies and damselflies are much beloved insects, the North American fauna has relatively few species (compared to beetles or leafhoppers or moths), and the insects themselves are large enough to be identified without magnification. That's why I wasn't surprised to find lots of Internet resources for their identification, including two checklists to odonate fauna of West Virginia. Wildlife photographer Stephen Cresswell has a Checklist of the Damselflies of West Virginia that links to his own photographs of most of the listed species, and the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center's Odonata of West Virginia includes county distribution maps for each species. I don't have the insect in hand, so I won't offer an identification, but this damselfly looks much like the genus whose common name is "dancer."

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