Mud on the Damselfly, Egg on My Face

by Carl Strang

During the past month, the long awaited Damselflies of Chicagoland by Marla Garrison was published on line. I finally checked it out last week, and was blown away by how excellent it is. If you have an interest in this insect group you really need to become acquainted with this work. As I skimmed through it I noticed that the smoky rubyspot was listed among the species that have not yet been confirmed in the area. Back in 2008 I had photographed a damselfly at Fullersburg Woods that I identified as a smoky rubyspot, and included it in one of this blog’s first posts.

I forwarded the photos to Marla, and she tactfully reminded me that some damselflies, including the rubyspots, submerge themselves completely when laying eggs. Salt Creek is muddy. This in fact is an American rubyspot with a thin coating of mud. Marla noted that the mud had worn off in a few spots, including the ovipositor, which is pale instead of the all black color that would be shown by a smoky rubyspot. I am disappointed, of course, that I need to remove this species from the list of those with which I have some experience, but I have gained knowledge from the episode.

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1 Comment

  1. October 15, 2010 at 6:30 am

    […] this species is active late in the season, supporting my sighting at Fullersburg (which at first I thought was a smoky rubyspot). I also made some singing insect observations, the best of which were jumping bush crickets […]


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