Rambur’s Forktail — Female

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The other day I featured an image of a male Rambur’s Forktail.  The tiny damselfly was a gorgeous neon-green in color.

Today, it’s the female’s turn.  With some species of dragonflies and damselflies the females are quite drab, especially compared with the males.  Not so with Rambur’s Forktail.  Often, the females are blue — colored as intensely as are the males.

But, that’s not all.  Females of this species are “polymorphic,” meaning that the females may come in more than one color. Sometimes, female Rambur’s Forktails present with the same brilliant green colors as the males display.  And, occasionally, you’ll find a female Rambur’s Forktail colored in hues of intense burnt orange.

I’d love to know the reason for all of this color variation and intensity.  I’ve thought that female dragonflies and damselflies are often relatively drab because dull colors may better camouflage them from potential predators.  But, if so, then why do female Rambur’s Forktails sport all of that bling, to the extent that some of them are even flashier than their mates?  Suffice it to say that these damselflies almost certainly know the answer, but they’re not talking.

Image made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180mm f3.5L Macro Lens, illuminated by Canon Ringlite, stabilized by monopod, M setting, ISO 100, f16 @ 1/160.

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