Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New insect: spreadwing sp.

While on a site visit to Sycamore Canyon yesterday, I observed several spreadwing damselflies along the stream (photo). They were a grayish lavender color, and appeared to be either the California spreadwing (Archilestes californica) or the great spreadwing (A. grandis).

Thanks to the recent publication of illustrated field guides, dragonflies and damselflies ("odonates" collectively) have joined butterflies as a group of insects that may be identified readily through binoculars. Consequently, we are quickly gaining a much clearer picture of the status and distribution of these varied creatures throughout the state (and the U.S.).

Only a handful of odonate species have been identified in the Puente Hills, and this genus, an autumn emerger, may have been missed by previous surveyors working in the spring and summer.

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