08.05.2021 Dragonfly Conundrum

This could be one of two dragonfly species. They are indistinguishable in a photograph or even in hand, which I do not do. I have decided that it is a Cherry-faced Meadowhawk-Sympetrum internum but cannot be positive.

The other possibility is a Ruby Meadowhawk-Sympetrum rubicundulum. The descriptions for both in my guidebook are identical with one exception. Adult S. rubicundulum is generally found hunting far from water and S. internum is found in wet meadows which is where I made this photograph. The odds therefore are in my favor but I could still be wrong.  🙂


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insects, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to 08.05.2021 Dragonfly Conundrum

  1. Ms. Liz says:

    Beautiful! lovely, lovely red 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Mackay says:

    Whichever it is, it’s beautiful. Recognising the different species of creatures can be so difficult. I’m trying to learn the difference between bee species here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cherry and ruby: both common names and scientific names often resort to metaphors.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your reasoning is good, and it often comes down to location. That’s a nice image of the dragonfly on the dewy saw-tooth leaf.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are certain field marks but in some cases only dissection or a look through a microscope tells the tale. I don’t like to have too much effect on their lives so unless the camera can capture enough info to ID then I am satisfied with something more general.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jet Eliot says:

    Whatever the species, this is a stunning photo, Steve. I always like to come upon red dragonflies, they are a little bit more noticeable to me as they go zipping by.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. shoreacres says:

    This is a beauty. I don’t remember seeing a red dragonfly, although I’ve seen a few Roseate Skimmers. I do see damselflies with bits of red from time to time, and they’re pretty, too.

    Recently, I’ve been finding quite large and quite dead dragonflies on the boats. They’re showing up only occasionally, but I’ve never seen them before. I laughed yesterday when I tossed one over the side; a fish grabbed it as soon as it hit the water.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not surprising that a fish grabbed the dragonfly, dead or alive. Fishing lures…flies…are usually other species but I guess if a fisherman caught a dragonfly that would make a great bit of bait and, of course, he or she could make an artificial one and dap away.
      I occasionally find dead dragonflies in my workshop. Usually they have got caught between the sheer curtain and window and starve there. They figure out how to get behind them to attempt to get out the window but never figure out that they can’t. I wonder if fish would eat them if I dropped them in the nearby brook.

      We have a number of species of dragonflies that are red, usually it is one gender with the other not as brightly colored.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Todd Henson says:

    I often struggle with identification and sometimes just post something along the lines of “here’s a dragonfly!” 🙂 Very beautiful photo, though, with a great transition between the nicely focused insect and the layered green background.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am a little fussy about telling folks what they are seeing. It would be a lot easier and less time consuming to not but it is a good learning experience to nail the ID. Thanks, Todd. I was indeed very happy with the perch.


  8. bluebrightly says:

    I’m going to go with “beauty.” Those wings – the lack of blotches or spots makes them appear so delicate.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice Steve! Very colorful on the green leaf! Really stands out!

    Liked by 1 person

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