We were kayaking last August in Wisconsin, when this little gentleman needed a rest and sat on my husband’s finger. The male’s wings are tinted amber with yellow veins and red stigmas (near the tips of wings). The female’s wings are variable with brown spots and red stigmas. Length of their bodies vary from 0.8 to 1.0 inches. The thorax is mostly brown with short, thin dorsal stripes and yellowish side spots. The abdomen is short and stout with variable patterns, either not striped or with narrow brown stripes.
For a dragonfly, Amberwings are reported to have the most intricate courtship dance. After the male selects possible egg-laying sites for a mate, he flies off to find a female and brings her back to his potential nursery. To attract her, he sways back and forth with his abdomen raised. Mating only occurs if the female approves – making this one of the few dragonflies species where the females choose the males.
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl