Friday, May 22, 2009

ENV: New US species of damselfly

This note just came across TexOdes from Greg Lasley:

Hello All,

This morning at about 11 A.M., John Abbott, Kendra Bauer, and I were at the front pond at Santa Ana N.W.R. where Bob Behrstock, Martin Reid and others had recently found numbers of Cream-tipped Swamp Damsels (Leptobasis melinogaster)

. We found several of this species and photographed both males and females. John called Kendra's and my attention to an interesting orange colored damselfly that he was trying to identify and we started getting photos of it. John thought this could be a new U.S. species but we were not certain what it was. Bob Behrstock, Martin Reid and others arrived with a field trip from the Dragonfly Days festival and between John, Bob and Martin decided that Leptobasis vacillans was the most likely identification. We lost sight of the original damsel, but Martin found a 2nd one, and later we found a 3rd one. All were more or less teneral and recently emerged. There is no accepted (by the DSA names committee) common name as yet for this tropical species. Later examination of images shows that we photographed both male and female. Dennis Paulson has looked at the images and agreed with the ID as Leptobasis vacillans. I do not have a way to post images to my website while on the road, but Jan Dauphin will post a few of my shots as well as some of her shots and make a note to TexOdes in a while with a link to the location where the images can be seen.

Greg Lasley
Austn, Texas
currently at the Dragonfly Days festival in south Texas

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