• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Dragonfly ID Pointers (1 Viewer)

HarassedDad

Norfolk County Butterfly Recorder
Just a thought for the new season: If you would like to get an ID of exuvae found, the significant shots to photograph are:
1 A shot from directly above looking down (to see the spines on the sides and the anal protuberances)
2 A shot from the side (to see the spines that run down the middle of the back)
3 A shot of the underside showing the mask.(needed to distinguish the hawkers)
Nice to have would be a shot from the front showing the head and eye position.
 

Brian Stone

A Stone chatting
Useful resource Paul. There is a further feature separating Variable from Azure not mentioned. There is a thin blue bar joining the post-occular spots on the top of the head on Variable. Can be seen on this typical male.

It's a good point about the variability. The first one I saw at this site was far less conclusive with almost complete ante-humeral stripes and a very indistinct 'wine glass stem'. It's worth noting that Variable usually look more dainty and slender than Azure.
 

Attachments

  • variable_damsel_male_detail_12jun07_800p_20.jpg
    variable_damsel_male_detail_12jun07_800p_20.jpg
    84.8 KB · Views: 350

Ashton.P

Well-known member
There is a further feature separating Variable from Azure not mentioned. There is a thin blue bar joining the post-occular spots on the top of the head on Variable.

Is this reliable?
A quick look at photographs in 'Smallshire and Swash' would indicate that this isn't the case. Some of the male Variables don't have this mark and some are reduce to two faint spots, rather than a bar. A photograph of a male Azure has two faint spots, and a female has a full bar present.

There is variability, and extreme variations can occur in most species. The key its to not rely on one feature alone, but base the identification on at least two. Even the whisky tumbler mark on an Azure can sometimes have a stalk, which means you need to be able to fall back on the crown markings on segment 9.

Another downfall can be complacency. For example at Tophill Low in East Yorkshire, Azure peaks earlier than Common Blue. When Azure starts to become less noticeable and Common Blue starts to peak, many observers continue to log Azure as the most abundant species and have not noticed the shift change. This also happens with the different habitat preferences on the same site. Azure prefers the northern end of the site, and Common Blue the southern end, once you are familiar with this, it really becomes apparent how inaccurately recorded these two species can be.

I've also added a composite photograph of male hawker at the following link:-

http://www.erdragonflies.co.uk/id/malehawkers.htm
 

Seamoor

Well-known member
Dragonflys we have had at pond

Hi

In a small 8 x 6 pond so far this year we have 8 dragon fly emerge, At the moment we have two which are still on the iris leaves, I think this is dure to all the rain we have had, one has been there 4 days and the other 2.
 

harry eales

Ancient Entomologist
Hi

In a small 8 x 6 pond so far this year we have 8 dragon fly emerge, At the moment we have two which are still on the iris leaves, I think this is dure to all the rain we have had, one has been there 4 days and the other 2.

Hello Seamoor,

Are these adult Dragonflies resting, or are they just the cast nymphal skins your seeing. These stay on the emergence post or position until either the wind or rain wash them off.

Harry
 

Binocularface

You've all got one...............!
Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly

Anybody got any Scarce Blue-tail photos to put on here?

Sorry Adey - Not very spectacular I am afraid!
 

Attachments

  • Scarce-blue-Tail1.jpg
    Scarce-blue-Tail1.jpg
    85.9 KB · Views: 368
  • Scarce-blue-Tail2.jpg
    Scarce-blue-Tail2.jpg
    100 KB · Views: 343
  • Scarce-blue-Tail3.jpg
    Scarce-blue-Tail3.jpg
    90.9 KB · Views: 336
  • Scarce-blue-Tail4.jpg
    Scarce-blue-Tail4.jpg
    80.4 KB · Views: 315

Binocularface

You've all got one...............!
Northern Damselfly

Here are some Northern Damselfly pics to add to the thread.

Key ID points for males:
  • Underside of eyes and thorax are bright green
  • 'spade' shaped marking on segment 2 - though this can be variable
  • 2 short black lines on side of thorax
  • The anal appendages are diagnostic in the male - though not really identifiable in the images attached!
 

Attachments

  • Northern-Damselfly.jpg
    Northern-Damselfly.jpg
    83.2 KB · Views: 336
  • Northern-Damselfly2.jpg
    Northern-Damselfly2.jpg
    79.6 KB · Views: 340
  • Northern-Damselfly3.jpg
    Northern-Damselfly3.jpg
    83.2 KB · Views: 308
  • Northern-Damselfly4.jpg
    Northern-Damselfly4.jpg
    90 KB · Views: 305
  • Northern-Damselfly5.jpg
    Northern-Damselfly5.jpg
    95.4 KB · Views: 354
Last edited:

Binocularface

You've all got one...............!
Irish Damselfly

And some Irish Damselfly...................

Key ID Points for males:
  • Dark in general appearance with black segments interspersed with thin areas of blue - segments 8 & 9 are predominantly blue
  • Green colouration on underside of eye, side of thorax
  • Crescent shape on segment 2 - though some variability on this feature
 

Attachments

  • Irish-Damselfly (4).jpg
    Irish-Damselfly (4).jpg
    24.6 KB · Views: 309
  • Irish-Damselfly (5).jpg
    Irish-Damselfly (5).jpg
    28 KB · Views: 310
  • Irish-Damselfly (9).jpg
    Irish-Damselfly (9).jpg
    22.7 KB · Views: 311
  • Irish-Damselfly (12).jpg
    Irish-Damselfly (12).jpg
    25 KB · Views: 309
  • Irish-Damselfly (15).jpg
    Irish-Damselfly (15).jpg
    24.1 KB · Views: 316

Binocularface

You've all got one...............!
Azure Hawker

Azure Hawker (male) ID pointers:
  • Blue & Black abdomen (lacks any yellow markings)
  • Very short blueish antehumeral stripe
  • Narrow bluish stripes on side of thorax
  • Short eye contact (the contact area between the eyes should be roughly equal to the length of the occipital triangle)
  • Lacks bright yellow or brown colouration to the costa
 

Attachments

  • Azure Hawker (2).jpg
    Azure Hawker (2).jpg
    21.8 KB · Views: 397
  • Azure Hawker (5).jpg
    Azure Hawker (5).jpg
    36.9 KB · Views: 375

Binocularface

You've all got one...............!
Northern Emerald - Female

As I only have pics of a female - this will concentrate on the ID points of female Northern Emerald:
  • Very dark green overall colouration
  • Broad base to abdomen
  • Large bright yellow spots on sides of segment 2 (much reduced in Brilliant and absent in Downy)
  • Yellowish spots on raised area below antehumeral region
  • Small yellow spots on sides of fronds (very estensive in Brilliant and absent in Downy)
  • Vulva scale under segment 8 held parrallel (right angle in Brilliant and does not protrude in Downy)
 

Attachments

  • Northern Emerald (2).jpg
    Northern Emerald (2).jpg
    30.8 KB · Views: 363
  • Northern Emerald (15).jpg
    Northern Emerald (15).jpg
    39.5 KB · Views: 346
  • Northern Emerald (20).jpg
    Northern Emerald (20).jpg
    28.3 KB · Views: 383
  • Northern Emerald (23).jpg
    Northern Emerald (23).jpg
    29.4 KB · Views: 342
  • Northern Emerald (25).jpg
    Northern Emerald (25).jpg
    40 KB · Views: 324

paul mabbott

Urban space man
Odonata recognition course

Anyone in Derbushire or the north Midlands might be interested in this.

Still places on this course going begging:

KNOW YOUR DRAGONS AND DAMSELS

Saturday 11th August £17 (£13 DWT members)

10am to 4pm

Hilton Gravel Pits and Hilton Scout Hut

Tutor: Dave Goddard

Must be pre-booked.

Come along and learn how to identify these beautiful insects as they fly around the ponds at Hilton. An inside session will be followed by an afternoon walk, to put into practice what we have learnt in the morning.

Ring 01773 881188 in office hours to book.
 

Nikon Kid

Love them Sula Bassana
Differences in the Male Red-eyed Damselfly and the Male Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Differences in the Male Red-eyed Damselfly and the Male Small Red-eyed Damselfly

The 1st image is of the Red-eyed Damselfly segments 9 & 10 Blue

The 2nd image is of the Small Red-eyed Damselfly Segments 2 & 8 plus
9 & 10 are blue segment 8 is only blue bottom & Sides see arrows
Also on segment 10 tip of the abdomen looks like a X

Small Red-eyed is about 4/5mm shorter
 

Attachments

  • redeyebroadlands.jpg
    redeyebroadlands.jpg
    182.1 KB · Views: 427
  • smallredeyeboathouse3.jpg
    smallredeyeboathouse3.jpg
    191.6 KB · Views: 408

paul mabbott

Urban space man
Help with Basque dragonfly

This was walking long the road near Elantxobe (Euskadi, N. Spain) last week amidst limestone oak woodland - no wet places that I could see. Any suggestions? PS: I moved it Somewhere safer!
 

Attachments

  • Basque-dragonfly.jpg
    Basque-dragonfly.jpg
    530.8 KB · Views: 378
Last edited:

wint

member
This was walking long the road near Elantxobe (Euskadi, N. Spain) last week amidst limestone oak woodland - no wet places that I could see. Any suggestions? PS: I moved it Somewhere safer!

From memory the thorax and abdomen pattern looks like Onychogomphus uncatus but I don't have my books here and my memory's not quite as sharp as it once was!

HTH
 

DJW

Turdus Philomelos
I am glad I found this thread!

Over the weekend I decided to digiscope some dragonflies for a change and as I know virtually nothing about them I was hoping somebody can help with ID.

No. 1: I guess this might be a Common Blue as there were dozens of them around.

Nos 2,3: Ruddy Darter?

No. 4: Haven't a clue!

Really must buy a fieldguide.

Regards

Dave
 

Attachments

  • 01.jpg
    01.jpg
    99.7 KB · Views: 396
  • 02.jpg
    02.jpg
    36.8 KB · Views: 416
  • 03.jpg
    03.jpg
    38.5 KB · Views: 381
  • 04jpg.jpg
    04jpg.jpg
    93.8 KB · Views: 445

Binocularface

You've all got one...............!
I am glad I found this thread!

Over the weekend I decided to digiscope some dragonflies for a change and as I know virtually nothing about them I was hoping somebody can help with ID.

No. 1: I guess this might be a Common Blue as there were dozens of them around.

Nos 2,3: Ruddy Darter?

No. 4: Haven't a clue!

Really must buy a fieldguide.

Regards

Dave

Dave - It would have probably been better to start a new thread with your questions so that this thread could be specifically for ID pointers.
However I agree with your first three identifications. The fourth image shows a Black-tailed Skimmer.

Regards
Tristan
 

Dave mac

Well-known member
No dragonflies around here at the moment but as a new member I was reading some of the old threads and came across Adeys post on telling the difference between the common blue and azure damselflies. I have lots of pictures of common blues but did not realise how close they looked to the azure. A quick flick through them turned up an azure|:d|which is a new "tick"
cheers
Dave
 

Attachments

  • damselfly (azure)_4013.jpg
    damselfly (azure)_4013.jpg
    224.8 KB · Views: 420

Users who are viewing this thread

Top