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Royal River Cruiser



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Macromia taeniolata

Rambur, 1842


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Libelluloidea
Family Macromiidae
Genus Macromia
Species taeniolata Rambur, 1842 [Macromia]
Syn Macromia wabashensis Williamson, 1909


Identification

This is the largest and most robust of our river cruisers. It is easily recognized by its size and the metallic blue color of its face, top of the frons and vertex. The thorax is dark brown with pale yellow antehumeral stripes extending half its length. The wings are clear but deeply tinted amber in younger individuals. The legs are black. The abdomen is black and not as vividly marked as in other species in the region. The yellow ring on segment 2 is narrowly interrupted dorsally. Pale spots on segments 3-6 are small and often obscured. Segment 7 generally has a pair of pale middorsal spot s and a small basal dorsolateral spot on segment 8. The remaining segments and caudal appendages are black.

Size

Total length: 77-92 mm; abdomen: 53-68 mm; hindwing: 46-62 mm.

Similar Species

Our other river cruisers are smaller and have a single pale spot dorsally on segment 7. Spiketails (Cordulegaster ) have two lateral thoracic stripes.

Habitat

Rivers, streams and lakes.

Discussion

Young individuals of this species, as with others, are often seen hanging obliquely from branches high in trees. Males patrol in a similar fashion to other species, but generally fly higher. Females lay eggs for about 2 minutes at a time, mostly in the afternoon.

Distribution

Eastern U.S.