The Dancers July 24, 2007
Forgive me one more day of Damselflies, this was too good to not to share. After the Dragonfly Conference a very lucky few waded the Clear Fork River to enjoy some last sightings with Dennis Paulson. This clustered group of Dancers, Argia were communally laying eggs along an exposed piece of wood. The males clasp the female between the head and thorax. They are actually quite stable and flight-worthy even while coupled in this manner. At the time, we assumed they were Powdered Dancers, but with the help of digital photography it was possible to identify them as three separate species. Going from left to right are the Dusky Dancers, a pair of Powdered Dancers and 3 pairs of Blue-fronted Dancers.
Dancers are commonly found together and easily recognizable by their habit of flying low over the water with a bit of a shimmy to their flight, or dance, if you will. Powdered Dancers and Blue-fronted Dancers were a common sighting at Mohican, but the Dusky Dancers were a real treat. It is not uncommon for the Dancers to lay eggs in groups, as possibly there is safety in numbers. If a predator were to attack while they were ovipositing, there would be a chance of escape for at least some of the group.
Odonates (Dragon and Damselflies) are fascinating creatures with varying habits and wildly diverse colorations. Hopefully, you will take an opportunity to observe them in the field.