Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dragonfly Lifer #3: Black-fronted Forktail

I had some spare time this afternoon, so I headed down to the Yellowthroat Creek in my neighborhood to look for dragonflies. It was warm, practically hot (82 degrees!), so I figured there had to be some out. After thrashing around in the vegetation at the creek's edge for awhile, I came across a tiny (only about an inch long) black and turquoise damselfly perched right above the water. It stayed too close to the water's surface for me to capture and examine in hand, but I took some photos. Later on I came across another one, which was very similar except that it had tan markings where the other had turquoise.

It didn't take me long to identify once I was home: Black-fronted Forktail (Ischnura denticollis.) This is a very common and widespread species in California, but since I'm just getting into dragonflies it was a new species, number three on my official dragonfly life list. The one with the turquoise markings was the male, and the tan one was a female. It was great to see another new damselfly (one that I could actually identify!), and hopefully I'll find a lot more soon!


Tucker Lutter said...

Congrats on the dragonfly lifer. I am interested in learning more about butterflies. I picked up the Kaufman butterfly guide and got four lifers by identifying the butterflies I photographed last summer.

Dave said...

About #2 - this is Vivid Dancer (notice the black triangles along the side of abdomen).
I'm really enjoying reading about your discovering brothers were birders at your age too.
Go for it.
Kathy Biggs