Posts Tagged ‘Pohick Creek’

Although I was still here in Northern Virginia, the colors and desolate character of the landscape surrounding this Variable Dancer damselfly (Argia fumipennis violacea) reminded me of the desert Southwestern portion of the United States. It looked almost like the damselfly was posing for a photo while perched at the edge of the Grand Canyon.

The reality was a little less exciting. I spotted this Variable Dancer during the 4th of July weekend while I was exploring Pohick Creek in Springfield, Virginia, only a few miles from where I live.

Variable Dancer

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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There is a whole family of damselflies called bluets that all look similar and the pattern of the males is generally some combination of black and blue (though there is one family member called an Orange Blue, which sure sounds like an oxymoron to me). On Saturday as I was exploring Pohick Creek in Springfield, Virginia, I came across two damselflies in tandem position that looked to be bluets. I suspect that they had just mated and were getting ready to deposit the eggs.

I managed to get a decent angle for a shot that allowed most of their bodies to be in focus and figured that identification would be simple. I was wrong. I went back and forth over a series of images and drawings in two guidebooks before deciding that they were probably Stream Bluets (Enallagma exsulans). The habitat was right and the markings seemed to be almost right, but I waffled for a long time.

Am I correct in my identification? I’m still not really confident, but so far one person has agreed with me in a Facebook group in which I posted the photo. The creative side of me, though, is really happy with the image, irrespective of the correctness of my identification.

Stream Bluet

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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