by Carl Strang
This has been a remarkable spring for damselflies and dragonflies at Mayslake Forest Preserve. Carolina saddlebags have been present in unusual numbers for weeks, outnumbering black saddlebags by a wide margin.
Spring is also the time when the lakes host two baskettail species.
Friday was a remarkable damselfly day. First came the following two individuals, striking with a metallic sheen on their abdomens. I don’t think they were teneral spreadwings, however.
The best was yet to come, however. Up in the meadow surrounding the temporary off-leash dog area at the former friary site, two bluets appeared that I don’t believe I have ever seen before. The first was a blue-type bluet that was just too small to be a familiar bluet.
In a more shaded area were two foraging damselflies which proved to be male and female of another species new to my experience.
The female was using an interesting foraging technique, reminiscent of a hover-gleaning bird, slowly flying up and down and briefly hovering to scan each leaf of an erect goldenrod plant, visually hunting for resting prey. As the photo shows, she was successful.