Monday, July 18, 2011

Just a Photo: Spiketail Nymph

I found this bad boy (bad girl, in fact) in a little stream in Oregon’s Blue Mountains a few weeks ago. It’s a full-grown nymph of the Pacific Spiketail (Cordulegaster dorsalis), the only Northwest representative of the family Cordulegastridae. You can’t tell from the photo, of course, but it’s over an inch long. She’s a chunk too—a little lotic tank. Nymphs of this species take five years to get to this size. If it looks dirty, it is—these guys are pretty hairy and all kinds of debris cling to them. These hunters live buried in fine silt and mud with only their eyes protruding so they can watch for prey. You can see what the adult Pacific Spiketail looks like here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

ID Challenge #2 Answer

I intended to post an answer to ID Challenge #2 much earlier than this, but it just didn’t work out. I’ve been on a road trip to/from Fort Collins, Colorado (for the Dragonfly Society of the Americas annual meeting) and I didn’t have as much down time as I thought I would. During the down time I did have, I was, well… …down. Anyway, better late than never.

Friday, July 1, 2011

ID Challenge #2

Do you know what this is? If you’re not sure, it can be figured out with a bit of research. It is a species which occurs in the Pacific Northwest, so that should narrow it down substantially. Leave a comment to let me know what you think it is even if you’re not certain. Comment moderation will be turned on until I post the answer, so they will not be visible in the mean time.

Postscript, 15 July 2011

This challenge is now closed. The answer with a complete discussion is here. If you missed ID Challenge #1, be sure to check that out too.