Monday, July 9, 2018

Eastern Amberwing in Creek Field

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The red-orange stigmata on the wings are striking!
This is the tiniest dragonfly I've ever seen!  

It is a male Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera), clinging bravely to a seed of Shepherd's Purse, in the toe of the Creek Field.  

The wind was fierce!

Amberwings eat even tinier flying insects and lay eggs in still parts of bodies of water.

Some years McDowell Creek is churning and swirling--no still parts.    Though our current drought is cruel to so many creatures, it has slowed down the creek and created many quiet puddles--just right for Amberwings.  

This clip shows my little guy hanging onto Shepherd's Purse, pumping his abdomen and waving his wings.   Amberwings are wasp-mimics: presumably, the threat of being stung makes predators back off!  But I'm not sure if we're seeing his wasp-imitation or just a wind-whipped balancing act!

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