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Band-winged Dragonlet



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Erythrodiplax umbrata

Linnaeus, 1758


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Libelluloidea
Family Libellulidae
Genus Erythrodiplax
Species umbrata (Linnaeus, 1758) [Libellula]


Identification

This is a larger dragonlet, second in size only to the similar Black-winged Dragonlet (E. funerea). Mature males are olivaceous with a broad stripe in the wings extending between the nodus and pterostigma. Males become pruinose, but the cerci remain pale. The wing band becomes progressively darker with age. Females may be similar to the male, but with a paler, reduced stripe in each wing that does not reach the pterostigma. Other, generally more common, females lack a prominent wing band, but have dark wingtips. Young individuals of both sexes have pale rectangular spots laterally on the abdomen. Occasionally the hindwing may be amber or brown basally.

Size

Total length: 38-47 mm; abdomen: 23-34 mm; hindwing: 25-34 mm.

Similar Species

The similar Black-winged Dragonlet is much less common and characters are given to separate it under that species. Other similar species include Filigree Skimmer (Pseudoleon superbus), which has wings with much heavier maculation, and Great Pondhawk (Erythemis vesiculosa), which may be confused with young male and female individuals with unmarked wings. Great Pondhawk, however, is bright green with the abdomen well marked with black. The face and thorax of Band-winged Dragonlet are olivaceous or greenish-brown in young individuals of both sexes.

Habitat

Permanent and temporary marshy ponds, pools and lakes.

Discussion

This species will occasionally roost in large numbers on the branches of trees with their wings characteristically depressed below the body. Males guard females during egg laying like other members of this genus and will patrol around ponds.

Distribution

Florida and Texas south throughout Central America south to Argentina; occasional stray to eastern U.S.