Many of the species I saw on that previous trip were still flying today, but in smaller numbers in some cases (as would be expected on this late date). The dominant species today where California Spreadwing (Archilestes californica) and Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum; the ovipositing pair above), both still going strong. There were also a few Saffron-winged Meadowhawks (S. costiferum), several darners—the two I saw well were Shadow Darners (Aeshna umbrosa), and a few Tule Bluets (Enallagma carunculatum). Below are a few photos from today...
|California Spreadwings (Archilestes californica): two males sharing a perch on the left; a female on the right.|
|Male Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) on the left; male Saffron-winged Meadowhawk (S. costiferum) on the right.|
I was frequently used as a perch if I stood still in the sun. Mostly it was Autumn Meadowhawks that were trying to sun themselves on me, but a few California Spreadwings landed on me as well. One spreadwing landed on my thumb and just wouldn’t leave, so I took a few close-ups of him.
|A male California Spreadwing (Archilestes californica) on my thumb.|
|A male Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) on my leg.|
I found one male Tule Bluet (Enallagma carunculatum) which was obelisking, but rather than for keeping cool on a hot day, it was trying to warm up on a cool day. This was the first time that I noticed an odonate obelisking for this purpose. Read more at Obelisking: Sticking it Where the Sun Shines. The pond damselflies don’t obelisk as much as some other groups of odonates, and when they do, they don’t really get the abdomen hoisted up very high. Maybe they don’t have the muscle strength needed to get that long abdomen (relative to the thorax) very far above the horizontal.
|A male Tule Bluet (Enallagma carunculatum) obelisking in order to warm up—raising its abdomen up to absorb more solar radiation.|
|Male Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum).|
Lastly, here’s a photo of a Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa) which let me get one shot before it bolted. Can you see all the characters that point to this species? Review Sorting Paddle-tailed and Shadow Darners Out-of-Hand if you’re not sure.
|Male Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa).|