Tuesday, September 3, 2013

ID Challenge #5 Answer

I didn’t give you much to go on in this challenge, but this odonate is identifiable based on what you see. Not only that, but the sex can be determined and, as I alluded to, a little more can be deduced—something that has happened to this individual, if you’re observant.

The first step is to identify which part of the bug we’re looking at, and I think it should be recognizable as portions of the compound eyes with thousands of tiny lenses, or ommatidia, producing that geometrically speckled look. The fact that these compound eyes meet at a long seam (the almost vertical black line) narrows down the possibilities to just one family out of all dragonflies and damselflies in North America: the darners, Aeshnidae. The eyes of all damselflies are separated by a gap; at most, the eyes of the other dragonflies meet at a very short seam, but some are separated by a gap or just meet at a point.