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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Clinging to the wall

Eric called me at the end of the day to say that he was looking at a dragonfly on the wall outside of his office.  I hadn't had a chance to take any pictures today, so I picked up my camera and went to take a look.

I had been seeing quite a few Spot-winged Gliders (Pantala hymenaea) around recently, so I thought this might be a possibility.  Sure enough, this female was clinging to the wall, and luckily she didn't fly off before I could snap a few photos.  (I wondered if she might try to spend the night there?)

Below is a close-up from the side.  Note the bi-colored eyes, red above and gray below.

The next image shows a close-up of the wing veins and the brown spots on the hindwings for which the species is named.

Although I've been familiar with this species for many years, I hadn't really focused on the white coloration of the veins within the brown spots.  As you can see, the veins are dark elsewhere in the wing...why are they white within the spots?  I can't really think of an obvious reason for this.  Can you?

I first wrote about Spot-winged Gliders last July, so for a few more pictures and background information about them, review that post here.

1 comment:

Jeremy Long said...

The dark spots remind me of eyespots on posterior eye spots on butterflies, caterpillars...and generally head mimics thought to deter/confus predators. From above, the eye spots look more eye-like than the actual eyes. From side, they look similar. I think the white veins makes the spots better match the real eyes (seen in side view). Very neat!