Sunday, October 4, 2015

Brush-tipped Emerald

Brush-tipped Emerald Face
Dragonfly families can typically be distinguished by their eyes. All dragonflies have compound eyes but some families of dragonflies have eyes that are separated, like a hammerhead shark, some have large eyes that look almost like a helmet, some have eyes that connect in a single point and look like an infinity symbol. Many of the members of the emerald dragonfly family have emerald eyes. This is the face of a brush-tipped emerald, Somatochlora walshii.
Brush-tipped Emerald Claspers
The brush-tipped emerald gets its common name from the hairs on the end of its claspers. It is found in the genus Somatochlora which are the striped emeralds. Most of the Somatachlora are found in bogs and swamps making them more difficult to find. The brush-tipped is smaller than most of the other somatochlora usually under 2 inches which helps to identify it in flight, although some of the more common emeralds are around the same size. They also tend to fly fairly close to the ground rarely going above the six foot level. (Note: This dragonfly was netted and the pics were taken while it was in hand. The dragonfly was then released)