Orange is the new “blue”

Every time I look out at the goldenrod in the backyard, I see new species of damselflies there.  This one was really striking with his bold orange and black thorax and orange eyes.  I should have mentioned (yesterday) that I have finally begun using the new macro lens I got last Christmas, and what a difference it makes when you’re trying to photograph something that is only 1-1.5 inches long.  (Click on any of the photos below for larger and sharper views.)

An Orange Bluet male.... really!  This is not your everyday blue Bluet.

An Orange Bluet male…. really! This is not your everyday average blue Bluet.

There are scarlet, cherry, and burgundy Bluet damselflies as well — how confusing.  I wonder why they didn’t call this one the Halloween Bluet instead.

The frontal view provides a better look at his orange and black thorax, and orange and burgundy eyes.  What a face!

The frontal view provides a better look at his orange and black thorax, and orange and burgundy eyes. What a face!

The females of this species are variable in color:  they might be yellow, green, or blue and black which makes it difficult to ID them.  However, they are usually not seen unless they are being carried around by a male in tandem flight.  Unlike most dragonflies that lay eggs underwater while dangling from a stem above it, the Orange Bluet female deposits her eggs on twigs while immersed in the water, with the male accompanying her in their underwater mating dance.

Those bright orange post-ocular spots look like stop lights.  The eyes seem to be three colors ranging from burgundy above to tan below.

Those bright orange post-ocular spots look like stop lights. The eyes seem to be three colors ranging from burgundy above to tan below.  Some wickedly sharp spines on his legs are probably used to snare insects.

What a gem!   I wonder what I’ll find out in the goldenrod patch tomorrow.

8 thoughts on “Orange is the new “blue”

    • thanks Mike. Yes, I was lucky to spot this one, and actually I haven’t seen it since that fortuitous day. But now I know what to look for.

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