Citrine Forktail

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The changing seasons heavily influence my wildlife photography.  Different species are accessible at different times of the year.  In the weeks to come there will be an ever-increasing array of bird species from which to choose.  The great bird migration has begun and will very shortly be in full swing.  Meanwhile, I am concentrating on the few species that have started to pass through our area.  But, I’m also working hard to photograph as many damselflies and dragonflies as possible.  From now through the middle part of October is peak dragonfly season.

Today, I’m featuring one of the smaller species of damselflies.  This little beauty is known as a Citrine Forktail.


It really is tiny, even for a damselfly, attaining a length of about an inch and with an abdomen so thin that it looks like a short segment of sewing thread.  However, it makes up in beauty for what it lacks in size.  Unlike many other dragonflies and damselflies this insect is very subtly colored.  It has a black and yellow striped abdomen that merges into a pale, greenish head and thorax.  Its eyes are particularly beautiful.

This species is fairly widespread in southern Arizona.  That said, I’ve never seen one in the Tucson area.  I found this individual sitting on a reed adjacent to a small pond on the grounds of the Benedictine Monastery in St. David, Arizona, about 40 miles southeast of Tucson.  If you look closely at this image you’ll see a single strand of spiderweb attached to this individual’s head.  He may have escaped a close brush with becoming some spider’s breakfast.

Image made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180mm f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite and stabilized by monopod, M setting, ISO 160, f10 @ 1/160.

One response to “Citrine Forktail”

  1. tkiiatmindspringcom says :

    Beautiful name for a beautiful creature!

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