Monday, May 18, 2009

ENV: Parasites on a Dragon

Caught this Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox, at South Fork Marsh on Texas 39 in west Kerr County on 17 May 2009. I was intrigued that it had a double whammy of hitchhikers -- the usual Water Mites, Arrenurus planus, but also some guys that resemble parasitic flies often found on colonial nesting birds. If they are parasitic i'd say they must be sucking fluids from wing veins, but i've caught hundreds (thousands?) of dragonflies and don't remember ever seeing these things before . . . there were six or seven of them on the wings when i caught the dragon, by the time i got the camera i was down to three. Close examination shows that there may be two different things involved too . . . perhaps one is so engorged that it obscures the wings . . .

Clicking on the picture will allow you to see the original size. Apologies for the not so great pic . . .

[Update: Pictures by May Lattanzio and linked on the SE Odes ListServ show similar or the same bugs on a dragon in Florida . . . Dennis Paulson identified them as likely being from the family Ceratopogonidae, and suggested the genus Forcipomyia as known to be parasitic on dragonflies]

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