Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ID Challenge #5

At right is an extreme crop of an odonate photographed somewhere in North America—north of Mexico, to be quite ambiguous. I don’t think this one is too difficult to figure out, however what is visible in the image is one of those things which is easily unnoticed if you don’t look for it. Not only can this individual be identified to species, but also its sex and even a little more can be gleaned with some sleuthing.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think it is—the species and sex. If you can tell me anything more based on what you see in the image, include that as well. Comment moderation will be turned on until I post the answer, so they will not be visible in the meantime.

Have fun!

Postscript, 3 September 2013

This challenge is now closed. The answer with a complete discussion is here.


  1. It's a female. That's all I've got. Even though snaketails have horns and get eye damage from male claspers, it has eyes that touch, so it's not a clubtail of any sort. The horns don't look like the horns on a Common Green Darner. OK, I'll go with some other darner female. Paddle-tailed. Is there such a species? I have no idea.

  2. I don't suppose those would be the two blunt teeth at the rear of the occiput of a female Anax junius, perchance?

  3. Female Anax junius based on those occipital teeth.

  4. The seam between the eyes, plus the eye color, and the "scars" behind the eyes,lead me to believe this is a female of the genus Aeschna.

  5. Sandra Hunt-von ArbAugust 29, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Teneral/subadult Female Common Green Darner (Anax junius). :)

    1. It seemed pretty mature, but you are correct otherwise!

  6. In checking my guides, I can't recall seeing any mention of the "horns". Where would one find this information?