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Confusing Hawkers - Russia

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Old Friday 10th August 2018, 11:37   #1
andyadcock
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Confusing Hawkers - Russia

Frustrated at not being able to entirely, satisfy myself of the ID of my local Hawkers here in Russia, I today managed to net three of them for in the hand inspection.

I've been hyper vigilant given the influx of Southern Migrant Hawkers to Britain and hoping to bag one up here but no joy so far however, of the three I netted, two I'm sure were juncea but one, shows characters that maybe consistent with subarctica, especially the appendages.

I attach shots of the facial suture, appendages and leading edge which to the naked eye, didn't seem at all yellow. I'm also struggling to identify this 'yellow spot' behind the eyes of any of the ones I caught? I know it's not diagnostic but the eye pattern looks good for subarctica as does the body pattern, note the reduced yellow mark (compared to juncea) between the two, yellow body stripes, the rear of which in particular, looks narrower than it would be in juncea.

To condense my observations

1. Brown not yellow costa, good for subarctica.
2. Body pattern, good for subarctica.
3. Eye pattern, good for subarctica.
4. Appendages, good for subarctica.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2018, 07:08   #2
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Andy, I've annotated one of your photos of the head to show the two pro juncea features (A) the line across the face narrows as it reaches the eye and (B) the yellow 'spot' behind the eye.

I would have tried to find a different word to 'spot' if I had been the author and the illustration needs to be larger so that we can see it!

I found http://www.dragonflypix.com/speciesp...juncea_sc.html more helpful than Dijkstra.

This image shows well the differences in the line across the eye
https://www.libellenschutz.ch/arten/...hna-subarctica - you have to take the photo into photoshop / lightroom etc. and bring detail out of the shadows to see any 'spots' behind the eye!

HTH
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Old Saturday 11th August 2018, 07:16   #3
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Many thanks Paul,
the body pattern is confusing, as is the colour of the costa and eye pattern. I know that none are diagnostic but when you seem to have four features that fit and the only ones that don't are microscopic, it makes you wonder if they should just be lumped?

What did you think about the appendages, a very good fit for the way they're illustrated in Dykstra?

One aspect of the ID which is more easily seen and that I was not happy with, is the brightness of the blue spots on my insect, they are much too bright for subarctica.


Cheers
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Old Saturday 11th August 2018, 08:37   #4
pdwinter
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Many thanks Paul,
the body pattern is confusing, as is the colour of the costa and eye pattern. I know that none are diagnostic but when you seem to have four features that fit and the only ones that don't are microscopic, it makes you wonder if they should just be lumped?
On my monitor the costa appears orangey from below and yellowish from above in the side on photo (right hand one) but orangey from above in the photo from the dorsal photo.

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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
What did you think about the appendages, a very good fit for the way they're illustrated in Dykstra?
I tend to use Askew for the appendages - copy attached. To me the ones in your photo look more like Askew's juncea than subarctica but it's interesting that the pattern at the end of the abdomen in Askew's drawings of subarctica look like those on your insect!

The male secondary genitalia in the two species is quite different - did you take any pics of the underside?

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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
One aspect of the ID which is more easily seen and that I was not happy with, is the brightness of the blue spots on my insect, they are much too bright for subarctica.
I have zero field experience of subarctica and from what I see in the books I wouldn't like to be separating these in the field (particularly if I couldn't find a perched one!)

I've attached a photo of a female juncea which shows the two yellow spots at the rear of the eyes that the other similar large aeshnas don't have. Very difficult to see from other angles - the only photo I have were it shows well :-)
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Old Saturday 11th August 2018, 08:50   #5
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https://www.libellen.tv/Libellen-Blo...nnungsmerkmal/ looks very interesting
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Old Saturday 11th August 2018, 13:29   #6
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Thanks for all this Paul,
I think the first indicator of subarctica in the field, may be that they simply look much duller? Pick it up on that and take it from there, I'll certainly be looking for duller insects as a starting point but getting any of them perched has proved impossible so far.

Thanks again for this.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2018, 13:57   #7
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How would you interpret this shot of what I had as juncea, antehumerals seem to fit subarctica as does the mushroom but the dot lacks the two dashes so doesn't fit, blue spots are too big as well.

Seems to confound at least two of those key features?

And sorry, no lateral view of appendages but I know now and will get the shot next time.

Cheers.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2018, 22:43   #8
pdwinter
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
How would you interpret this shot of what I had as juncea, antehumerals seem to fit subarctica as does the mushroom but the dot lacks the two dashes so doesn't fit, blue spots are too big as well.

Seems to confound at least two of those key features?

And sorry, no lateral view of appendages but I know now and will get the shot next time.

Cheers.
The costa looks yellow to me - I think that's where I would start with a perched / in hand insect (along with the spots behind the eyes and the black line across the eye)

I've looked at quite a few photos now and the spots do appear to be consistently smaller with subarctica.

I have a feeling (but not the experience!) that there is a lot of variation in these abdominal markings (dots and dashes) - otherwise it would have been mentioned in the main fieldguides.

I'll scan the Askew line drawing of the secondary genitalia and add it later - might be useful or might just add to the confusion!
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Old Sunday 12th August 2018, 12:08   #9
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Thanks again Paul, greatly appreciated.

Weather has turned a bit here so won't get out for a few days but when I do, I hope to net a few more and see what we get!

Yellow-winged Darters are far more abundant than usual this year, maybe turn up in the UK this year?
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2018, 10:16   #10
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Yellow-winged Darters are far more abundant than usual this year, maybe turn up in the UK this year?
If they do I hope it's before the end of this month as after that I'm in Spain for 5 weeks!

aeshna secondary genitalia drawings from Askew attached.
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2018, 14:51   #11
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Thanks Paul.
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