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Broadwinged Damselfly

Family: Calopterygidae


Damselflies (suborder Zygoptera) are insects in the order Odonata. Damselflies are similar to dragonflies, but the adults can be distinguished by the fact that the wings of most damselflies are held along, and parallel to, the body when at rest. Furthermore, the hindwing of the damselfly is essentially similar to the forewing, while the hindwing of the dragonfly broadens near the base. Damselflies are also usually smaller than dragonflies and weaker fliers in comparison, and their eyes are separated.

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JimJohnson2 7 years ago

Hi Eric. I hate to ask, but could you take a look at
I'm stumped...

EricHillstrom 7 years ago

No problem! I love hunting for Macro-invertebrates! I hope your kids are really enjoying it. While you're sifting through leaf packs, try flipping over some rocks as well, if you aren't already. You can find some really cool little guys under there. I really love water pennies. Such interesting little creatures. You may even run across some damselfly or mayfly larvae hiding under them. Also try sifting through some of the mucousy algae-moss stuff you find floating on the surface. Good place to find some Cranefly larvae. They are kind of terrifying though... hahaha Have fun!

JimJohnson2 7 years ago

Thanks so much, Eric. As you can tell, I still learning about my macros. I am so thankful for the help. I'm also thrilled at the diversity of a local stream that was dead from oil and gas development back in my youth. I really thought long and hard about doing a Leafpack this late in the year, but the kids founds so much good stuff, I may do it again next week. Thanks, again for your expert help!

EricHillstrom 7 years ago

Figured I'd help you out some more. I believe this guy is definitely a damselfly. Hard to tell from the pictures, but I'd say he's probably a broadwinged damselfly. Here's some pretty good rule of thumb ID tricks:

Mayfly: has three thin tails. Gills usually line the sides of the abdomen. Usually has a larger femur than tibia (leg parts)

Damselfly: Has three feather like tails with gills typically on the back. Legs are usually long and thin.

Stoneflies: has 2 thin tails with a space in between. Stoneflies also typically have long antennae and have gills on the bottom or sides of their thorax.

Now I'm sure this doesn't apply to every single species as nature surely has something strange up her sleeve! But hopefully this helps with future ID's!

Spotted by

Pennsylvania, USA

Spotted on Sep 21, 2013
Submitted on Sep 21, 2013


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