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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Canada Darner

 I think I may be in a zone that is really beyond me, but I am going to try to identify the dragonflies and damselflies I have observed in Newfoundland.  With "Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East" by Dennis Paulson as my primary resource, I find I am still stumped with many IDs. This book is probably very good for intermediate observers, but as a novice, I find it lacking...particularly with its lack of close-up photos.
It would be more relaxing to sit in my comfortable chair by the fireplace and watch a good movie. It would be more fun to go birding or even to take more pics of dragonflies.  Nevertheless, it is what it is, and here I go.  There are several classifications of dragonflies in our province. The darner is the largest. It is, also, the only flying species to have blue on its body. Those two descriptors make it easy to determine if the dragonfly is a darner or not.

 Beyond that, it is necessary to look more closely at the thorax, the face, the wings, the stigma, the color, the appendages and abdominal tip as well as the regional distribution. Can one do this on the fly? Not me. Even with photos, I am challenged.
 The Canada Darner, seen here, is a good place to start. It is characterized by two lateral thoracic stripes. The first stripe closest to the head is notched, and there is a small, extended yellow stripe between the two lateral stripes.
 The females can be green and brown or pale blue and brown. The male has a brighter blue and brown combination.

 Now, don't let that information fool you into thinking I can actually, with confidence, identify one. Even as I write this, I am flipping back and forth from the book, the text and my photos. Why? Because there are other very similar species found in NL, including the Lake Darner.
I say with some degree of confidence, the first image shown here is a Canada Darner. The others?? Well, I am still sitting on the fence.
 After checking my Lake Darner folder, I have extracted these three photos, thinking they might well be Canada Darners. Can you tell how confused I am?
 It would have been so nice if my reference had a page dedicated to side views of the similar species to more clearly illustrate the differences.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gearing Up

 I think all of the laboring over the butterfly images fried my brain and my computer. Giving both a chance to rest, I am now looking toward working through the hundreds of images of dragonflies that sit on my PC.
 As I started the process this afternoon, I found these four images taken during late summer that accidentally got dumped in my Insect Folder. I found them particularly nice to look at during deep winter days.
 Shown here from top to bottom are: A Blackpoll Warbler; a Black-throated Green Warbler; a very young Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a very striking adult Common Yellowthroat Warbler.
In August and September, we can always count on seeing Common Yellowthroats, but we can not always catch sight of a mature male. This is probably one of the best specimens of this species I have seen.

And so.... I am going to begin the work on the dragonflies. After all, what was the point of struggling to photograph them if I don't share those I can identify.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Unknown Butterfly Stuff

 I have now finally finished sorting through and trying to identify my butterfly images taken during the summer. Whew! There were a lot. I will take a break from sorting, although I still have many dragonflies and damselflies to identify. They are even more difficult than the butterflies.
 I still have the species contained in this port left to identify. I have no idea what the cocoon might be. The blue butterfly has really stumped me.
 I wanted it to be a Silvery Blue, but all indicators suggest it is not. From the blue butterflies listed on the MUN and NL Government site, I have been unable ot match it to any.
 Then, there is this little, nondescript butterfly. I have no idea what it might be.
I welcome any help you might be able to give me and invite you to visit the new Butterfly Checklist page linked at the top of this page.

Bog Copper Butterfly

 It took me five years of looking to find these Bog Copper Butterflies. About twelve were seen on the bog alongside Parker's Pond Road. Only two stayed still long enough for a "snap."
They were seen on one occasion only  in the middle of August.