Can you identify this insect?


More like this

We took a walk today along the east side of the Mississippi River just down stream from Coon Rapids Dam. The park here invested about ten years ago in a major prairie restoration project which has been paying off big time in recent years. The following is a sampling of the scenery, mainly focusing…
The skeletons of an adult and a juvenile manatee (Trichechus manatus), on display at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
From ants to aphids, mosquitoes to mantises, entomology blogger Bug Girl has covered all kinds of things that creep, crawl and fly. This week, she joins us to talk about her favorite bugs, and why she finds them all so fascinating. And anthropologist and blogger Greg Laden joins us to discuss the…
Taken by yours truly using his wobbly hands and a Sony DSC H2 camera from the backyard between 8 PM and 10:30 PM. I thought I'd see a reddish hue as noted here. It was better. It was blue. A pebble in the sky. Magnificent.

Probably not. I'd call it a dragonfly.

By Physicalist (not verified) on 07 Nov 2011 #permalink

Hard to tell without context (where? when?) and a slightly out of focus picture but it could be an adult male Brachymesia furcata, indeed.

By Christoph Zurnieden (not verified) on 07 Nov 2011 #permalink

Looks more like a Damselfly.

By glenn scriven (not verified) on 07 Nov 2011 #permalink

I would say Sympetrum as well.

It's definitely a dragonfly. Damselflies hold their wings vertical when at rest, dragonflies spread them out. No idea of the exact species, though.

red darter

Ok, October fits, but northern Minnessota? That´s would be very far from home! Normal geographical range is in the most southern states of the USA. Some of these states seem to have a severe drought and this aridity may have caused such an unusual far north sighting but I think B. furcata is out.
That far north in October a Sympetrum sp. (vicinium? Does it have a small triangular kind of thorn at the bottom of the tail and yellowish legs? If it has such things and has a reddish abdomen, too, it is a female of that species. If the form of the hamule fits) is more likely.

You may try which has a very large collection of geographically annotated and correctly identified (see comments to the respective pictures) images. I used it to crosscheck my guesses but it is hard to search there without any first guess. You may take a look at for how hard it is to identify Anisoptera. I was probably a bit too bold to try my new fresh new and obscenely over-priced teeth at it :-)

As far as I remember has a kind of checklist but that site seems to be off (got only time-outs for the last half hour).

By Christoph Zurnieden (not verified) on 08 Nov 2011 #permalink

Christoph, good questoins... Aaron Brees is saying it's Sympetrum obtrusum

It's a red-tailed dragonfly ! Lots of pictures and information when you put it into Google. I make Insect themed jewelry and have been looking at Dragonflies a lot in order to create them in Silver. Hope this is helpful.


What, you wanted something more specific?

By Chris Winter (not verified) on 08 Nov 2011 #permalink

Christoph Zurnieden wrote: "As far as I remember has a kind of checklist but that site seems to be off (got only time-outs for the last half hour)."

The Wayback Machine has its last snapshot on 30 June. Prior to that it appeared at least once a month throughout this year.

By Chris Winter (not verified) on 08 Nov 2011 #permalink

Aaron Brees is an authority here, so S. obtrusum it will be.

S. obtrusum has a distinct white "face", which means I asked many questions but not the right one, as it seems :-)

Oh, and is off-line? Sad, it was a good source. But at least it has been archived.

By Christoph Zurnieden (not verified) on 08 Nov 2011 #permalink

that insect is Charlie. he owes me money.

Did I really say that it was S. obtrusum??? Christoph's suggestion of Sympetrum vicinum is certainly correct. Terrifying that anyone would call me an "authority" on these things!