08.15.2022 Macro Monday-Another First

There are 23 species of damselflies in New England so they are one type of insect I have a chance of photographing all although some are not as common as others and only found in some parts and not all of the region.  But compared to the thousands of other insect Orders found here there is a chance.

Fragile Forktail-Ischnura posita.  This is a very tiny one at about 1″ long and obviously quite slender.  I never would have seen it had it not landed, its motion alerting me to its presence.  As tiny as it is the insects it eats are even tinier. Despite this being my first sighting that I am aware of, they are very common here in Massachusetts, flying from early Spring until late Summer and over the east and much of the midwest.


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.
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20 Responses to 08.15.2022 Macro Monday-Another First

  1. Mike Powell says:

    Fragile Forktails are usually the first damselflies that I each spring and I am always excited to see them. As you noted, Steve, they are really tiny. They are also so long and skinny that it is hard to frame a photo in which the entire damselfly is in focus, but you managed to do so. Nice shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Peter Klopp says:

    Considering how slender this damsel is, the bulging eyes are very noticeable and seem out of proportion. Great find, Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Peter. Damselflies have such large eyes and the separation makes them seem even larger. There are many shots of them hidden by their perch with only the eyes showing on either side.


  3. We know how you must’ve felt
    To find an insect so svelte.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres says:

    And there’s that “exclamation mark” on the thorax that helps to distinguish this one from the Eastern Forktail that I found at Walden West. Mine was about an inch long, too — if I hadn’t already been on the ground to photograph something else, I never would have seen it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Where did you read about the mark? Neither of the sources I used, one text and one online, mentioned that.The thorax is mentioned for the colors as stripes in mine. It is indeed easy to miss them. I am sure I’ve seen them flying around but they can be easily lost once perched.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres says:

        Here you are. It’s all interesting, but if you scroll down a bit, there’s a section dedicated specifically to the Fragile Forktail that includes this:

        “FRAGILE FORKTAILS (Ischnura posita) are a species that Ed Lam (Damselflies of the Northeast) calls “field identifiable” (if you make sure that you look twice – more about that later). The colored stripe on the black thorax of both males and females is broken, shaped like an exclamation point (Bob DuBois, in the BugLady’s ragged copy of Damselflies of the North Woods, says that “posita” means “positive” and alludes to that exclamation point), and the last few abdominal segments lack a blue tip. Older females can be tough to tell from their Eastern Forktail counterparts, check images of Ischnura posita and Eastern Forktail.”

        The occasional Eastern Forktail may have that ‘exclamation point,’ but it will also have a blue tip that helps to distinguish the species.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! I have both books, Lam and Paulson, but rely on a different one, Nikula’s A field guide to the dragonflies and damselflies of Massachusetts. Guess I’ll start perusing each. Thanks, Linda.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Priti says:

    Damselflies look beautiful in different colour they are in different varieties. Beautiful shot.👌

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wally Jones says:

    Ah, yes, “common” as in “not rare” but certainly not as in “commonly seen”!

    Very nicely photographed! That overall focus is not so easy to achieve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Wally. The perch makes the difference when trying to achieve parallelism. I try not to let “commonness” influence my desire to capture a subject. Generally I am just as happy to photograph a Canada Goose as a Great Blue Heron. Beautiful is beautiful.


  7. Congratulations on another “lifer” damselfly, Steve. How many out of the 23 have you already encountered?
    Your photo is actually bigger than the insect itself!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Todd Henson says:

    Interesting thoughts on photographing all of a species in the area. Are you actually doing that, keeping track and then keeping your eyes open for those you’ve yet to photograph? I don’t know why, but that’s not something I’d fully thought through before, and yet it has me thinking now… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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