Sunday, August 8, 2010


Here is a picture I took at Pomme de Terre state park of what turns out to be a type of damselfly, a Powdered Dancer ( Argia Moesta). These were all over the rocky areas at our campsite. I thought they were dragonflies to begin with, knowing next to nothing about them. Both dragonflies and damselflies belong to the order of Odonata, which has inhabited the Earth for something over 250 million years.

I was able to identify the insect using the Stokes Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies, quite a nice guidebook and one I plan to add to our nature library. Donna Brunet, an expert macro photographer here in Missouri who specializes in insects, kindly responded to an email query confirming the identification.

Unlike dragonflies, damselflies generally hold their wings together when perched and their fore and back wings are similar in shape and size. In addition, their eyes are generally spaced farther apart than the diameter of each eye. This picture is of a male. The chalky white coloration on the male's thorax is distinctive.

Here is a picture of a dragonfly I found while walking Basie in our neighborhood recently. It had been snagged by a seriously scary looking spider, who wasn't letting go. I carried the pair home with me and took lots of pictures. I haven't identified either insect yet.

The eyes are obviously larger and much closer together. Here is a picture of the spider.

And a closeup of the spider’s head. (Lots of eyes!)

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