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Gray-waisted Skimmer



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Cannaphila insularis

Kirby, 1889


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Libelluloidea
Family Libellulidae
Genus Cannaphila
Species insularis Kirby, 1889 [Cannaphila]
Syn Libellula angustipennis Rambur, 1842
Syn Misagria funerea Carpenter, 1897


Identification

This is an uncommon non-descript species only rarely reported from Texas. The best diagnosing character is the unusually narrow base of the hindwing. The body is brown with a pale yellow or white face. The top of the head becomes metallic green in older males. The eyes are reddish turning metallic green in older individuals. The thorax is brown, darker in front, with streaks of yellow becoming obscured with age. The wings are unusually narrow, as described above, with dark wingtips and a brown pterostigma. The legs are brown, turning black distally. The abdomen is brown edged by a black carina, with some pale yellow dorsally and basally on segments 1-8. The female has a broad flange on segment 8. Older indivi duals (males and most females ) become entirely black with a gray pruinescence on the abdomen.

Size

Total length: 36-39 mm; abdomen: 24-26 mm; hindwing: 29-32 mm.

Similar Species

Young Blue Dashers (Pachydiplax longipennis ) have an interrupted dorsolateral abdominal stripe. Older Slaty Skimmers (Libellula incesta ) and Black Setwings (Dythemis nigrescens ) have dark or black faces.

Habitat

Marshy ponds, lakes and streams.

Discussion

Narrow-winged Skimmer forages from the tips of vegetation just above ground level to 10 feet high. Females lay eggs in areas of dense vegetation.

Distribution

South Texas through Mexico to Panama.