A Beauty, But What Is It?
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I photographed this stunningly beautiful damselfly this morning over at Sabino Canyon and have spent much of this afternoon trying to identify it.
Identifying damselflies can be a daunting challenge. There are dozens of species of these insects and many look alike. What makes it even more of a challenge, however, is that there is often a lot of color variation within a species. The guides usually show images of typical representatives of a species but a particular insect may not be typical in appearance.
So, what is this one? I’m still not sure. I know from its general shape and the way that it holds its wings that it is a damselfly and not a dragonfly (damselflies generally hold their wings in a folded position when resting and dragonflies always rest with their wings spread). I also know that it is fairly large as damselflies go. I’ve tentatively identified it as an Amethyst Dancer, a species of damselfly that is found locally. But, trust me, that is highly tentative. I’m not even sure whether this insect is a male or a female. The males of this species tend to be tinted a distinct lavender, although not always. Females are more muted. To my eye, this insect has some very faint lavender tints, but that’s subjective.
Well, whatever it is, it’s certainly a beauty. If any of you have suggestions as to its identity, I’d love to hear from you.
Photo taken with a Canon 5Diii,180f3.5L Macro assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, ISO 100, M setting, f14 @ 1/160.