Friday, July 16, 2010

River Jewelwing

Dragonflies make up one half of the order Odonata. The other half of the order is comprised of the damselflies. Damselflies are in the suborder Zygoptera, which means "same wings," that is because the size and shape of the damselflies wings are all roughly the same. In contrast dragonflies, who make up the suborder Anisoptera which means unlike wings, have different sized and shaped hindwings and forewings.
There are several other differences between dragons and damsels. First damselflies usually hold their wings together over their backs when perched, while dragons hold their wings flat out at a 90% angle, the exception to this are spreadwing damsels that hold their wings at a 45% angle. Most dragons, with the exception on clubtails have eyes that touch while damsels all have eyes that are seperated on their hammer shaped head.
There are three different families of damselflies, broad-winged, spreadwing and pond damselflies. The largest and usually most colorful damselflies belong to the broad-winged family. Broad-winged damsels, which includes ebony jewelwing, river jewelwing and American rubyspot in this area, are found almost exclusively around streams and rivers, although I have seen American rubyspot on the shores of lakes also.
The broad-winged damsels in the pictures above are called river jewelwings. Both the ebony jewelwing and the river jewelwing have a metallic colored thorax and abdomen that are most often green but can also appear blue depending on how the light hits them. The difference between the two is that ebony jewelwing have solid black colored wings while the river jewelwing have two toned colored wings as you can see in the photos. These photos where taken near the mouth of a couple of small tributaries of the St Croix River, the Snake River and the Sunrise River.

9 comments:

KaHolly said...

You explain everything so well!! Great photos of the jewelwing. I love learning about nature. ~karen

LivingSoAbundantly said...

Well written and photographed. :)

Siromade said...

Nice post and very informative, the photo is beautiful and very neat.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

These are truly a work of art!...how you captured the wings separating like that in a sequence of photos.

My C C is posted now...
THE SHORELINE 'FLASHER'

Do hope you can stop by to view. I'm wishing that your weekend will treat you well.

Nikki-ann said...

Wonderful photos :)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Very interesting and lovely post~

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Dragonflys are so beautiful, great shots as usual.

Terica said...

Thanks so much , I enjoyed my visit and learned a lot! Peace

karen said...

I see damselflys daily and always thought they were dragonflys. recent pictoral study via internet introduced me to the fact that I see jewelwings common to north florida not dragonflys

Karen