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.

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